Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The Saga of Ardchreag: Historie of Ardchreag, Booke the Fifth

By THLaird Colyne Stewart et al. Credits: Contents © Todd Fischer, 2006 and David Glover, 2006

This history was supposed to be written in the manner of an Icelandic saga but was never completed.


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January XL (the beginning of the year mundanely known as 2006)

On the 2nd day of January, the free folk of Ardchreag did meet at Sparrow’s Nest, the Keep of Lady Tarian verch Gadarn. While making tokens for their upcoming event, the free folk tried to remember all the embarrassing moments they had suffered during the previous year. Few could think of many, but one stood out and was therefore awarded a broken arrow, called the Shaft, to memorialize the embarrassment. Lord Eirik Andersen was given this token, for an incident he suffered the past October. While plying the waves in a skúta, he did capsize his boat and take an inadvertent swim.

Swimming is not embarrassing. The fact that a Norseman fell out of his boat is.

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On the 8th day of January, the following missive was cried from the four corners of Ardchreag.

Greetings unto the glorious inhabitants of the cliffs, quays, rivers and inlets of the Canton of Ardchreag, from Colyne Stewart, captain,

As you awoke this morning you may have heard the sounds of construction floating up from the shoreline. Some of you, walking down to the docks at the Rouge Port, may have seen the hull of a frigate rising on the sand.

To patrol the waters of Mare Ontarium, to protect the people of Ardchreag, Septentria, and the kingdom at large, construction of Ardchreag’s first naval vessel is underway. This ship is to be called the Red Arrow, which, as some of you may know, was the name of Ardchreag’s chronicle before it became the TankArd.

I am currently endeavouring to procure a letter of marque for this vessel, and will soon be posting notices for positions on the Red Arrow’s crew. With luck the Red Arrow will be launched within a month or two, and can begin to hunt down those notorious pirates, the Cap’ns Widow and Bloodfox.

I wish all of you a most glorious day,


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To Feast on Peppers and Chocloate!
Event Report: Septentrian 12th Night
Laird Colyne Stewart

Greetings unto all those who may read this missive, from Gonzalo mjöksiglandi, humble page (of the mixed up lineage) in the court of Their Majesties of Misrule, Gaerwen and Ulfhedin,

As you may be aware, recently a new land has been discovered far to the west (or, even farer to the east). It is a land of chocolate, peppers and gold, of towering pyramids and thick trees. I set sail to this new land, along with Dan the Dane, my fellow page (half-brother to Dagmar Halvdan), to wait upon Their Majesties of Misrule.

The winds were gusting up to 70 kilometers per hour on my voyage. The kilometer is a measurement of speed in this New World, I am told. In our terms the wind was blowing really, really, REALLY hard. It actually caught the door to my cabin aboard ship and half wrenched it from the frame. The boat was in danger of sinking from this storm, but we landed safely, and my fellow page and I made our way through the freezing winds and found shelter in a hall. This hall was within the boundaries of the Barony of Septentria, which was hosting a Twelfth Night celebration. Over this merriment, our Majesties Misrule were to…well…misrule.

His Majesty was resplendent in fine slit pantaloons, with tiger print hose, a white blouse and red vest. Upon his head perched a hat (also made of the skin of a local great cat) around which sat his crown, and from which sprouted green and white feathers. About his neck hung a necklace of peppers. Her Majesty was likewise radiant, in Norse garb complete with three sets of turtle broaches, and strings of pearls, bells, radishes and peppers strung across her chest. A large helm with mighty horns and thick braids sat atop her head. In their hands they held their scepters and orbs—sticks of wood, and a local fruit called a cocoanut.

Before them was spread a table of prizes. For throughout the day, those assembled would partake in games and challenges for tickets, and these tickets would then be drawn for these prizes. Beyond the prizes were set up tables for the general populace to use, and beside them were set tables for an A&S show and tell overseen by Lord Berend van der Eych and Lady Mahault van der Eych. Participants were encouraged to bring their greatest arts and sciences disaster.

At the end of the hall Lord Rhisiart ap Meredudd toiled in the bar. Beyond him and unseen were their Excellencies Septentria, and many other helpers, working in the kitchens. Overseeing all was Lady Lassarfhina inghean Uilleag, the event steward.

And yet this was but half the hall! On the other side Lord Perceval deLaroque and Lady Christiana MacNamara had spread out many tables of games. In the corner an oasis sprung up, complete with palm trees, drummers and dancers. One of the dancers looked remarkably like Baroness Alyce de Sheppey.

Dan the Dane, with his roving moustache (which moved all over his face, and sometimes onto other people’s faces), and I (wearing a cotehardie, a fez and plaid pants, with a dream catcher and an Aztec solar calendar hanging from my belt) sometimes helped out Their Majesties throughout the day, when and if we felt like it. For a time I had to flee for my life, as several local children (armed children!) thought I was a pirate, simply because I said I was. Luckily Berend slipped me an eye patch, which I held up to other people’s faces to send the children off after them.

Their Majesties appointed Lord William the Younger as the Captain of Their army on the merit of his silly walk. To decide upon their admiral, a group of sea-dogs came before them blustering and yelling, until Berend leapt upon the stage, kissed Her Majesty and stole the admiral’s hat. Not to be out done, Lady Rusalka of the Galbraiths kissed His Majesty, then Her Majesty, leaving Berend no choice but to kiss His Majesty. Both Berend and Rusalka were then appointed co-admirals.

In all the amorous campaigning, His Majesty’s chapeau was knocked to the ground, and though I managed to rescue the crown itself, the feathers were snatched by a self proclaimed enemy of the crown, dressed as a young Duke Hasdrubal. His Majesty appointed William to recruit a brute squad to retrieve the feathers. While he was doing so, the thief strode cockily before the thrones, wearing the feathers in her coronet. William snuck up behind her and plucked the feathers, whereupon she called for her own brute squad. It seemed the enemies of the crown outsized the loyal brute squad of Their Majesties, who scattered to the winds. Lords Petrus and Grimroth then abducted His Majesty, throne and all. Eventually His Majesty returned, but as I was one of those who scattered, I am not sure what he had to do to secure his release.

Tickets were handed out to people for passing potatoes between themselves, using only their elbows, chins and knees. Touching one with your hands meant you had to partake of the poor man’s lutefisk (sardines). Tickets were also awarded for eating the peppers on Their Majesties necklaces.

The members of Petrea Thule practiced at Glic in a back corner, preparing themselves for a Glic challenge at Snowed Inn in two weeks time.

A court was held where awards were handed out, but I do not know who won them, for I had been dragged into a game of Tablero with Baroness Adrielle Kerrec, who had just trounced Lord Rattanicus. When Adrielle had to step out, Baron Konrad Mattias Jaeger continued for her and we played until we were both well sauced.

Feast, with an Old World / New World theme was then served. The Spanish Remove: consisted of Olive and bread, Fava beans with serano ham, Chorizo empanadillas, Eggplant casserole, Venetian xinxanella, Roast pork with sweet and sour sauce and Fruit empanadas. The Mexican Remove consisted of: champurrado (chocolate drink), Tortilla chips with salsa, guacamole and frizoles, Prawns with pumpkin seed sauce, Potatoes with walnuts and eggs, Tamales with boar, Mole de polbano and Chocolates.

Two of the dishes were served from the deck of a large boat that was wheeled about the room on a trolley. Pirates from Ardchreag tried to raid the vessel, but it was under Her Highness Ealdormere’s protection, so the raid failed. Instead, they captured a smaller craft made of bread and manned by bears made of butter, and sailed past head table where His Excellency Septentria stood in his ocelot skin great kit and was showered with volley after volley of bread balls. Oh, if only His Excellency had more ships of his own to protect him!

After feast, Lassarfhina and Rhisart brought out a birthday cake for Gaerwen and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr, which was cut up and shared with all still present in the hall.

The hall slowly emptied after that, as folk made their way for home. For those that remained a cloven Clementine made the rounds.

It was truly a fun day, with much merriment (more than one man distracted by tablero could possibly record).

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Snowed Inn V: The Fifth One
Snowed Inn Event Report, Jan 28, 2006 (AS XL)
Laird Colyne Stewart

I was shaken awake at five hours by my faithful steward William Scrimgeour. Waking me is not an easy task, and a late night working on last minute details of an event made it an even more difficult task than normal. Eventually though my fellow Scotsman managed to rouse me from slumber, and I stumbled to the privy to prepare myself for the coming day.

After washing I descended to the first floor of Drew’s End, our manor in Greenhithe territory, and began an inventory of materials that needed to be hauled to our inn in Ardchreag. I was soon joined by my lady wife, and fellow event steward, Þorfinna gráfeldr, while our guests from the Barony of Skraeling Althing slept on peacefully in one of our other rooms.

Soon, there was a knock on the door and William admitted several of our fellow Ardchreaggers: William Donovan, Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr, Eirik Andersen and Tarian verch Gadarn. Tarian especially was well welcomed, as she came bearing drinks from the New World (called coffee, and hot chocolate).

We loaded our casks, crates and trunks into our various wains and wagons, and wended our way along the King’s Highway, getting off in Ardchreag’s county of Blackwood (known to the Mundanes as Pickering). There we found the Snowed Inn, ready and waiting for us. We began to unload our gear, and were soon joined by Wat of Sarum, and a bevy of Van der Eychs (Berend, Mahault and Adelaide). As the Van der Eychs readied the kitchen, the rest hung banners, moved tables, set up the dais and Ladies Gallery, put together a barrier, and lent their hands to many various tasks.

Soon, the hall was ready, and just in time, for by 9 o’ the clock, guests had begun to arrive.

In the back of the hall along the south wall, THL Raffe Scholemaystre, sitting under the banner of the Games Guild of Ealdormere, spread his array of medieval games, which were much used over the course of the day. Beside him, Baroness Adrielle Kerrec presided over an arts and sciences competition with an heraldic theme.

Half of the hall was given over to tables where good gentles could sit and talk, play games, or work on crafts. On the east side of this half of the hall, Sir Evander and THL Melusine de la Rose served from the bar, while on the west side a free lunch board was kept well supplied by the Van der Eychs and their kitchen staff.

The other half of the hall was given over to the noble art of the sword. Along the north wall the dais of Their Majesties of Ealdormere had been raised, from which Their Majesties Edward and Rylyn, Their Highnesses Aaron and Rustique, and Their Excellencies Corwyn and Domhnail could survey all those gathered within. Beside them, Snæbjörn once again attended the Ladies Gallery, providing them with food and drink. He also ran a fighters’ buffet, laying out bread and fruit, water and a strange orange drink.

Before the dais and the gallery was the list field. Lady Seonag nicThomais was the first to use the field that day, having organized a series of tournaments for the youth fighters of the kingdom. Many good gentles (such as Dagmar Halvdan) had donated prizes for the youth combat, and the good knights Sirs Evander, Siegfried, and Cennedi had each sponsored one of the three age groups, each making either a sword or a piece of armour as a prize. Many tournaments and melees were held, and later the following prizes were awarded: Quilliam, over all tournament winner and Best Theme in the Helm Show; Matthias, winner of the Roman Melee; Niadh, who authorized and then went on to win in the Sword and Shield Double Elimination Round Robin Tourney; Algar, Most Authentic Presentation in the Helm Show, and Morgam, Most Colourful in the helm Show.

While the youth combat was occurring, two new adult fighters authorized in sword shield. They were Emma of Greenhithe and Helena of Bastille du Lac. When the youth combat was complete, Their Majesties called the tournament herald—Magistra Nicolla de Bracton—before them to introduce to Them the fighters who would be competing in Their Tournament of Renown. The list was long, and numbered many noble and courteous gentles. The tournament was a single-sword, single-elimination tournament, to three counted blows. This ended up taking a long time to run, as double-shots did not count and had to be re-fought. My own battle for instance, against the most excellent Honourable Gann, had at least fourteen double-shots. In the end, Sir Siegfried defeated Sir Evander to win the Tournament and ensure a place in the Elite Tournament of Renown to be fought in April.

At some point during the fighting, I cannot know recall exactly when, my squire-brother Tiberius of Warwickshire was called before Their Majesties and inducted into the noble Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer.

After this, Duke Sir Finnvarr De Taahe, the king-of-arms, selected several gentles present to represent certain Vices upon the field. The Vices, wearing baldrics displaying their vice, then selected others to represent the Virtues, who were given garters to wear. The Vices and the Virtues took opposite ends of the field, and all other fighters chose which side they wanted to join. Finnvarr pointed out that the following battles would determine who would wield the Sword of Prowess over the upcoming year. He also pointed out that three of the previous winners were present, and all of them had fallen to Vice, so a new wielder was obviously badly needed!

The Vices and the Virtues then met in challenges over the barrier, and in grand melees. Sir Nigel MacFarlane, acting as Avarice, at one point walked to the barrier with naught but a dagger. When his opponent tried to locate a dagger to meet his chosen form, Avarice would not allow it, and made him use a sword. For, as Avarice bellowed, he was greedy for glory! Sloth, in the guise of THL Etian du Naval, also had a memorable moment at the barrier when he lazily fought with a two-handed sword in only one hand.

When the fighting was done, the Ladies Gallery handed out several tokens to those who had inspired them, entertained them, or distinguished themselves. (I was awarded a token for a particularly entertaining death.) The Sword of Prowess—and a spot in the Elite Tournament of Renown—was then awarded to THL Gann. He was also given a box, handmade by members of the Canton of Ardchreag, as well as two goblets for his lady.

The hall was then readied for court. Their Excellencies Septentria awarded a Bear’s Claw to Sir Cennedi for his training of fighters at Ardchreag and Skeldergate. They also recognized Lord Eirik Andersen’s work with spontaneous illumination by giving him a Golden Bear. Septentria’s taxes for the coming year were announced, which was for each canton, household and military unit within the barony to find a relic that somehow represents their founding, and bring them to the barony’s Twelfth Night celebrations in AS XLI to form a Septentrian Museum.

Their Majesties then held Their own court. Many awards were presented, including: Dagmar Halvdan’s Award of Arms, Bjarn Stymirson’s Award of the Scarlet Banner, Ludwig von Eisengrim’s Award of the Scarlet Banner, and the elevation of THL Garwig von Wolfenschmidt to the rank of Court Baron.

After court a buffet style supper was presented, followed by an evening of games, dancing and good fellowship.

When it was all over, the weary few of us left once again loaded our wains, and brought our casks, crates and trunks back to Drew’s End for storage. It was, as always, a fulfilling day. And it was, as always, a deep refreshing sleep afterwards.

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On Sunday Jan 29, a canton lunch was had at Golden Griddle.

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February XL

Feb 13
Greetings all!

Well, last night was awesome!

Firstly, the meeting was an A&S show and tell, with a small amount of business. Attending the meeting were: Wat, Thorfinna, Colyne, Eirik, Tarian, Donovan, Jen, Vlad and Snaebjorn (with Siegfried and Cennedi arriving just before fighting).

First order of business was booking the hall for next year’s Snowed Inn. Since no one else expressed any interest in being autocrat except Tarian (who said she *might* be interested), Tarian was voluntold for the job…at the very least, she has agreed to be the person who will book the site and the event date with the calendar secretary (with myself and Thorfinna available to assist her in the process as she may need).

The second order of business was storage of canton goods. The pros and cons of both the shed and trailer idea were presented. The shed won with approximately 9 votes to 2 (one of them cast by proxy for someone who could not attend the meeting). The trailer was deemed unfeasible due to many factors, including insurance, the higher cost, and becoming dependent on people with trailer hitches to move it. We’ve proven that with a few people’s vehicles we can generally move what we need. Siegfried suggested we build a wooden shed as opposed to buying an aluminum one. Vlad agreed, saying we could have a shed-raising party. Details for the shed will be worked out in the future.

Thirdly, the idea of a Sunday fighting only event was proposed. Berend has agreed to autocrat, and book the site. The idea is to have a full day fighting event (say from 10 until 6) at Heber Downs, where the fighters of Ardchreag (and friends) invite all comers to come and face them. Site fee would be low (if not non-existent), and other than booking the site and the date there is very little work involved in organizing this. There would be no courts, no feast, no lunch counter, no nothing. People will be encouraged to come, set up pavilions, fly banners and then either fight or watch fighting. The idea was greated with enthusiasm, providing we can find a good Sunday that is not on the same weekend as a strong Saturday event.

Vlad then had to leave, and I was supposed to remind everyone about the Brownie demo on Feb 28. I forgot. So I’m doing it now. Please, if you can make it, come out and help. There’s no fighting, so we need people to come out and do crafts. I believe the demo is over at 8 or 8:30, so we could go out for dinner afterwards. So far only Vlad, Thorfinna and myself are going.

A plethora of visiting fighters then arrived because—unremembered by us all—Ardchreag was hosting the Scola for February. From Bastille du Lac we had Kal, Sir Evander, Rattanicus, Edward Fuchyn and Baldric. From Caldrithig: Derfel Mallory. And from Ben Dunfirth: Master Tark and His Highness Sir Aaron. Cennedi, Wat, Thorfinna, Eirik, Siegfried, Tarian and myself strapped on armour to represent the High Cliffs. Snaebs, Jen and Adrielle had to leave partway through the night, and Donovan was broken. (If you’re keeping count, that’s 15 fighters in armour, 4 of them members of the Order of Chivalry.)

We started with some sparring, during which Kal authorized in sword and shield.

Siegfried then taught a class on how to fight lefties. He then had Cennedi (who can fight left or right handed) and Aaron (who is a leftie) start two bear pits. Us righties all lined up and we fought Cennedi and Aaron while Sieggy watched and offered us constructive criticism after each fight. Sieg then rotated in and Cennedi offered the pointers.

Following the class we fought an Ealdormerean Speed Tourney (which is remarkably similar to an Atlantean Speed Tourney). All armoured fighters (including Tarian who was only in armour for the third time ever) took part. In the end His Highness defeated Sir Evander to take first place.

Derfel keeps score for who comes to each Scola night and who places in the tournaments. He also asks each host teacher to pick one person to receive an extra point of chivalry. Siegfried chose Thorfinna to receive that point for her excellent showing.

Afterwards, six of us headed for the pub, only to be told it would be closing in 15 minutes. So instead we went to Boston Pizza which is open until 2 am. We were quite pleased until we found out that it appeared that only one waitress was on duty, and the service was slow. We arrived before 11 and didn’t end up out of there until 12:30. We were momentarily entertained and alarmed) by an older gentleman in a trenchcoat who had wandered into the closed patio and was waving at us through our window and counting on his fingers. We had no idea what this crazy guy wanted, but eventually, after a lot of pointing on our part, he found his way out of the patio and into the restaurant, where he explained to Tarian that he had been trying to get in the side door (which was locked) and had hurt himself in the attempt. We all just nodded (not making eye contact) or stared into our plates pretending not to understand English. Oh, and I got told off by the waitress for not celebrating Valentine’s Day.

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Feb 28
Demo St. Joseph School (Markham), Vlad, Sieg, Nigel and Adrielle

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March XL
Winter War, Mar 4: Eirik, Siegfried, Wat, Cennedi (Eanor, Wulfgang)

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Late Winter Shoot, Mar 18: Eirik, Siegfried, Tarian, Randy; Eirik selected to take part in Archery tournament of Renown

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Septentrian Baronial Fight Practice, Mar 19: featuring several tournaments of renown, Sieg in 2nd in great sword tourney

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April XL
St. Maximus Day Market, April 8: Wat, Sieg, Cennedi, Colyne, Thorfinna, Snaebjorn, Berend, Mahault, Isotta, Adrille, Nigel;
Cennedi, Wat and Sieg in Elite Tournament of Renown; Colyne gets ASB

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April 10th Fight Practice:
Fight Practice Report:

Fighting: Donovan, Eirik Anderson, Thorfinna, Wat
Not Fighting: Nicholas, Cheryl

With the gym available from 6:00 pm we leisurely started getting into armour
around 7:15 pm and were engaged in vigorous armoured combat just prior to 8:00
pm.  I had forgotten what an unrushed fight practice was like.  Next time we
should strive to be fighting prior to 7:00 to have three lovely hours to fight
in, or finish early and go pubbing!

Eirik was in armour despite feeling pretty run-down from work which means that
he is the hero for the night.  He took some teasing from Donovan and Wat about
his shield size but bore it in good grace.  While I didn’t see much of his
fights with other people, Eirik’s defense continues to improve.  The greatest
area needing improvement is in the mechanics of throwing his shot so that he
doesn’t open up his centre-line by rotating his body and both arms as a unit,
thus moving his shield away as he brings his sword forward to crush his
opponents.  Further to this topic, I suspect that this is the result of bad
habits learned when Eirik was in his old armour and couldn’t move his arms other
than in a Hulk smash kind of way, but don’t quote me on this.

Thorfinna was on fire with continued great defensive work.  What was really
exciting was some strategic and well-executed offense she used to smoke Donovan
during one round.  The play-by-play went like this (if I am recalling
correctly): Advance, trap his sword, take his leg, step back, advance trap his
sword, take his arm, step back, and arm again.  Very precise, and totally
killer.  I don’t think I saw it happen again but it was a pretty thing.  After
all, someone at the practice has to kill that Donovan guy.  Thorfinna also had
the lesson reinforced that she dies when she gets tired and stops moving her
shield and stops being able to track with her opponent as they try to maneuver
her into unhappy places.  Fortunately there is an easy solution to that problem
:)  I know she and Donovan talked a lot about thrusting, and the need for her to
do it better but can’t say if that ended up producing any results.  She and
Eirik fought, but I do not know who imposed their will on the other.

Donovan was out in his usual fine form but it must be said that his previously
spiffy fighting gear is starting to resemble something Wat might be comfortable
in, with appropriate sweat stains and fighter juice upon the previously pristine
white portions.  While he said he was sore from a previous gym session Donovan
didn’t seem impaired at all until his lack of recent cardio training began to
make itself known.  Less weights and more stair-master young grasshopper!
Donovan was doing some instruction as well as fighting which was nice.  The one
thing that seemed to bother him aside from getting schooled by Thorfinna was
that he was losing his leg with more consistency than he is used to.  That may
have to do with the fact that he was indulging Wat by playing more of a running
game than he might normally do, which often leads to a bit of unscripted shield

Wat fought everybody and felt reasonably good.  He and Thorfinna had some good
fights and her defense is very tight so he was spending a lot of time trying to
figure out ways to fake her sword arm over or to use fakes to move her shield.
Some success with the arm, nada with the shield.  As for Eirik, again, improved
defense making Wat work hard to try to open him up, unfortunately not really
having any success with fakes, and went back to some old-fashioned
counter-punching at Eirik’s opening centre line. He lost his head to Donovan’s
wrap shot many more times than he would have liked, not yet getting the lesson
that the shield can be handy for blocking.  The plus side is that he sometimes
got to hit Donovan in the leg while taking the head shot, so while he didn’t win
the fight count, let’s just say he was slowly winning the bruise count.  At the
end of practice Wat’s elbow let him know he had overextended it a little bit,
likely a result of spending so much time keeping as much space as possible
between Donovan and himself, forcing a bit too much reaching.

Nicholas came by with his mom Cheryl, recent arrivals from Rising Waters.  He
was doing a fair bit of boffer out that way and his mom says that he was
starting to take names and wants to continue.  Wat chatted with them for a while
and after they signed waivers for the day did a little sword drilling with our
young warrior.  The techniques of spaghetti serving are unknown to the boffer
children in the land of rising waters so it was good to be able to show
something new to Nicholas.  It is surprisingly hard to remove the KA-POW, and
KA-BLAM from my training adjectives, as I don’t think I am supposed to be
showing him how to lay stripes on people, yet.  Nicholas is hoping to recruit
some friends, and I believe Cheryl is a boffer marshal, and is trying to get
parental guardian permission-status (of which I know nothing about the
legalities and requirements by the outside world and our little club) which we
shall confirm, so there may be an outdoor summer boffer league developing in the
noble Canton of Ardchreag.

In Servicableness,


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Schola, Trinovantia Nova, Apr 15: Wat and Donovan attended. Wat went undefeated through a tournament until loosing to Duke Eliahu in the finals.

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Coronation, Apr 22: Ron and Rusti crowned, Wat is King’s champion.

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Lord Mayor Market Day, April 29: Siegfried was victorious in the Dagger tourney held that day, the prize a hand made knife. He beat out Sir Evander in the finals.

Eirik passed his Spear authorization.

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Fight Practice May 1
Fighting - Colyne Stewart, Eirik Anderson, Donovan/Dak/Habib, Sir Nigel, Wat

Not fighting - Tarian, and briely Thorfinna

Warm sunny weather nearly allowed the first outdoor fight practice of the year until the peewee soccer players took to the field and forced a retreat into the gym.

Notable events, a mat was available, allowing the first fighting from the knees in some time. 

Colyne and Wat started off the evening with a few good rounds, although the air inside the gymnasium was giving him some endurance issues.  All that aside, he fought well, getting the most success off of Wat and Donovan with his thrust.  He had several long bouts with Eirik but unfortunately I didn't see the outcome of that.  If I can generalize and blow some hot air for a moment, Colyne seems to be facing the same problem I am facing, in that (almost) every blow he throws is a real blow.  The exception is in his thrusting, which is often a follow-up to a set-up blow/feint of some nature, which is part of the reason why he is getting a lot of kills with it.  He now needs to work on placing pressure on his opponents to move them into positions where he can kill them, via feints, body movements, or jedi mind tricks.  That would expand his killing blow repetoire significantly I feel.

Eirik was trying quite a few new things at practice, training 6 foot spear with Sir Nigel & Donovan/DAK/Habib, and working on how to defeat an opponent who is on their knees.  From a sword and shield standpoint Eirik is having trouble keeping his shield corner up to protect his head.  His standard position has been with the shield held straight up with the edge lying horizontal - rather than tilted or diagonally - and thus his helm has a little sign on it saying "flat snap here."  He made some good progress with this and will continue to work on it, although he said it felt pretty unnatural.  On the positive side his leg shot is coming across quite well, a smooth drop with few tells.  I think if he can bend his knees to drop his body down while he throws it this will begin to be a consistently deadly shot for him.

Donovan/DAK/Habib had the biggest triumph today by not hurting his right elbow!  However his left elbow hurt at the end of practice...but one thing at a time.  Aside from fighting on his knees, which was a great skill to practice again, the two notable events from Donovan were: a) giving Wat the first dents to the lamellar (nice off-body shot) b) working with 6 foot spear with Sir Nigel for long time.  Being a spearman of no reknown I don't feel entitled to comment too much other than to say that he fights the spear the same way he fights sword and shield, aggressive, with tight muscular movement.  Of course I will now comment despite not being entitled to do so.  In watching the two of them spar, the marked difference was in stance and tension; Sir Nigel was poised, not loose but not carrying excessive tension, which showed in the fluidity of his strikes and movement; Donovan was much tighter, his strikes, while very fast and aggressive were made slightly jerky by the tension and effort involved.  Much of that likely has to do with working on a new(er) weapon form, but this over-blown commentator thinks Donovan/DAK/Habib would have increased success by letting go of some of his tension, working on eliminating jerky movement and making effortless strikes.  Piece of cake right?

Sir Nigel was on fire today, in sword and shield he was carving a swath through the unbelts of Ardchreag, in spear he took it easy on us to provide a teaching lesson.  Towards the end of the night the knight was having some armour issues with a broken strap, but nonetheless was one of the last two fighters on the field.  What more can a guy say?

Wat fought not badly, but not superbly.  In looking back at my fights, my goal was working on the delivery of my leg shot, which I did only effectively some of the time, but had the pleasant surprise that when I got it working all of a sudden my rising snap was getting a few takers as well.  Amazing how good mechanics make it all come together, even Wat's hitherto crappy feints.  One of the significant areas for improvement was shown in fighting opponents on their knees.  While Wat was doing a decent job legging his opponents, his track record of killing them once they were down was not impressive.  Time to go back to the drawing board.  He did have some fun with 6 foot spear at the end of the night, while his work at range seemed adequate, once the opponents closed in he was not effective at choking up on the spear and continuing the fight.

Overall a great practice.  Next week will feature a special event, keep tuned for an announcement from Laird Colyne Stewart.

In service,

Wat of Sarum

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May 5: East Kingdom Crown Tournament
So this morning Siegfried, Rattanicus, Thorfinna and I made our way to East Kingdom Crown just south of Montreal. We were all under the impression that the event was actually in the city but it was in a camp ground in a suburb. The weather was bad, wet, cold and windy. Luckily, Thorfinna and I had brought cold weather gear, including gloves and cloaks. Siegfried and Rat were not so lucky as the fighting was held outside in the rain. The rain was not heavy (at least, not most of the time) but it was a constant from when we arrived on site (11 am) until 5 pm just before Crown finally ended.

In the change room we ran into a young fellow whose name I never caught who helped set up Evander’s vigil back in 2001. Rat was quick to point out to anyone who would listen that I was one of Evander’s boys so I got to talk to a few people that way. We met an ex-Calontiri who’s a friend of my squire-brother Varenko who is currently living in the East (Esengi? I can’t spell it) and his lady Bess who both seem very nice. We managed to talk to Baron Konrad a bit and wish him luck (one of Evander’s former squire-brothers).

The sideboard was great, with lots of meat, bread, fruit, pickles, cabbage rolls, carrots, soup and lots of other stuff.

Watching the tournament was very interesting, watching all the little things that they do differently. There was no procession or announcement of fighters. They ran six list fields concurrently, and did armour inspections in the lists before your first fight. The two finalists had friends do a boast of how they were about to win the Crowns.

The fighting seemed to be very clean. Shots to the body seemed to be taken harder than we would throw, but head shots were taken much lighter. This was consistent across the board. The atmosphere was a lot more laid back than our Crowns, with people fraternizing and introducing their consorts to each other during lulls in the fighting in a walk way that ran through the lists.

The quarter finals were Sir Thorrson vs. Sir Griffith and Sir Kelson vs. Sir Lucan. The semis were rather irreverant, with lots of joking and hamming it up. Was odd. Thorrson switched to two axes to fight Griffith who beat him twice to advance to the finals. After much tumbling and tomfoolery Lucan beat Kelson once to advance to the finals.

Ah, the finals. I wish I had timed this. Lucan and Griffith faced off and just stood staring at each other. Then, they’d throw one shot each at each other, step back, stare at each other and reset. The first bout lasted at least 15 mins (with Lucan winning), and then they took a 5 min break. They fought sword and board again and the fight progressed as the first had. Thorfinna, Rat and I did not watch this round as we were inside trying to get warm. We got changed into mundanes, wrapped our cloaks on top of our coats and went back out to the lists. Griffith had won the second bout, so they were currently in the third bout. Finally, after about an hour, Lucan beat Griffith to win the Tourney.

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May 8: first Cliffside Challenge
Last night was the first Cliffside challenge night for 2006. We had 9 fighters in armour who took part in a random draw best 2 out of 3 double elimination tournament. Donovan faced Sir Nigel in the final, with Nigel emerging victorious to win a 4-pack of Guinness supplied by Wat. Sir Evander and Sir Siegfried should have faced off to see who would claim third place, but this never happened (partially because Sieg’s shoulder was hurt, and partially because we all forgot) so EV and Sieg are down as tied for third.

Fight Practice Report: Monday May 8, 2006

Fighting: Sir Evander, Sir Nigel, Sir Siegfried, Lord Rattanicus, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Thorfinna, Lord Eirik Anderson, Lord Donovan/DAK/Habib, Lord Wat

Training: Andrew, Berend,

Noncombatants: Mahault, Tea, Tiffany

This was the first Cliffside challenge, a monthly tournament which will be held on the second Monday of every month.  We had a good turn-out and some visitors who came to compete for the glory (and the beer).

Warm-ups started around 7:30 pm as people dragged their lazy bums into armour, Colyne being first on the field, followed by Wat.  Donovan/Habib was a distant third but had the excuse of having traveled down to the Roaring Wastes practice on Sunday.  We had just thought he was a wuss but once we heard about his trip we understood he was a tired, bruised wuss.  Colyne started off the day pretty fast, warming up aggressively and leaning pretty heavily on his thrust, more so than I had seen in a while.  He surprised me with it more than I would like.  Although my memory is not as crisp, one thing I recall is that Colyne was not having a lot of success on the leg…and on me he should, so we should probably think about that.  I suspect his focus on the thrust to the face, which is often a follow-up from a head shot, is keeping him in a position with the sword above his shoulder, making it impractical to throw a leg shot from B or A range, which is a lost opportunity, for the whole fake/feint thing as well. 

Donovan, Siegfried, Thorfinna and Eirik warmed up shortly thereafter and not much to say there except Thorfinna was coming off some nasty chest cold and was sucking air big time.  Sieggy and Habib (Donovan/DAK) were bashing pretty good and appeared to be taking turns on the kneeling mat as they hacked each other’s legs off.  Sir Nigel was around but as a result of wearing real armour he was a little slower in getting onto the dance floor.  Our visitors Rattanicus and Sir Evander arrived later and had all of 3 minutes to warm-up before we started the tourney, a clever strategy on our parts I must say. 

With a little help from the assembled chivalry Mahault and Berend organized the list, which was done as a double elimination, best 2 out of 3, with the initial pairings coming about through a random draw. 

The tournament progressed smoothly, and it is a little hard to comment on the fights as we ran several pairings at the same time, so I will keep the comments to the end of the tournament.  The final four were Sir Siegfried vs. Donovan, and Sir Evander vs. Sir Nigel.  Siegfried vs. Donovan was a rematch of their exhausting warm-up bouts, and having shown each other all of their tricks the mystery was gone from that little romance and it was left to hard slogging.  In the end Donovan was victorious and it seemed to the casual eye that he was doing a very good job counter-punching on Siegfried, waiting for that big strong commitment and then coming in very aggressively.  This didn’t always work out for Donovan (ie refer back to previous comments about trading places on the kneeling mat), but it did often enough in the end as he was the victor.   Sieggy…not sure dude, wish I had more intelligent commentary except that I didn’t see much variety in the shots, you really seemed to be hunting that leg and getting caught sometimes.  Eh.  Maybe someone else will have more insight.

Sir Evander and Sir Nigel had some interesting bouts.  What struck me most about them was a change in Sir Nigel’s stance and footwork.  He was taking faster, smaller steps to stay in the range he wanted without planting a by taking a big step, thus less vulnerable to the leg shot, and he was crouched more forward, rather than standing taller and further back.  This seemed to really improve his defense, reducing leg targets significantly, and put him into an aggressive posture where he was putting more overt pressure on his opponents, always being slightly crouched forward in that aggressive A-frame.  While both he and Evander fought well, Nigel took the bouts (not sure if in 2 or in 3) and some of these style adjustments seemed to play a part in that.

The finals were Nigel vs. DAK/Habib, and it was like watching two sides of the same coin…two sides of the same coin that had just the day before been training down at the Roaring Waste practice   In all seriousness there were very marked similarities in stance and footwork as these two went into their match together.  Nigel took the first two fights, requested to fight the third one which Habib then won.  If I can say anything from the peanut gallery it would be that as Evander and Siegfried were watching they noticed that Donovan’s thumb lead is not always coming together.  It is a shot he is very fond of as he moves into B range, thrown with a step, but the mechanics are actually coming through so that it is sometimes flat.  Most of the time it does not land flat, because when it is flat it is coming in slower = easier to block, but it is something for Donovan to think about perhaps.  It may also simply be a measure of muscle fatigue impairing normally good mechanics. 

Pick-ups afterwards were a lot of fun and give me a chance to comment on a couple others.

Rattanicus is his usual fast aggressive self but is throwing in patterns and early in the night was telegraphing a number of his shots with big stepping movements, etc.  This carried into the tournament where he didn’t do as well as he could have maybe.  By the end of the night he was cleaning this up a little and was getting some success with leg shots that he wasn’t earlier, but wasn’t able to finish off the opponent on their knees as effectively as he could, so one problem down young grasshopper, one to go!

Evander took me to school the first few rounds we fought, leaving a good bruise on my side with a nice off-body – a very deliberate choice I should add – as he tested my new armour.  I had forgotten that standing toe-to-toe with a guy who really likes wraps and deep-off body shot is dumb.  When I began to use footwork better things got better for me and began to give Evander a decent fight.  One thing I would be arrogant enough to say is that generally while EV owned me up close, I felt safer and more in control at range.  I think he needs to start messing with his opponents at that outer range and establish the threat there, so that there is no safe place for his opponent.  I don’t know if it is just a range preference of his, or whatever, but it’s just my impression.

Our buddy Andrew returned from his academic schedule and Berend and Wat spent some time doing pell work with him, Berend shouldering the load there.  Thanks dude.  He brought along a lovely young lady named Tiffany who seemed very nice.

The evening ended with Nigel being given a gift to present to his lady, a lovely pack of beer.  All in all a good turn-out and good start to the monthly Cliffside challenge.  See everybody next week.


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May 13: Lady Mary Memorial tournament, Trumbrand beat Beausoliel in the finals; Tarian, Randy, Eirik, Siegfried, Nigel, Wat

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Spring Crown, May 27 AS XLI (2006)
Laird Colyne Stewart

The sun was bright and the sky was clear upon the morning of May 27th. Þorfinna and I awoke early, please to see that the constant rain of the past few days was no where to be seen. We quickly packed and awaited the Bastille Boys, who were going to pick us up in their carriage. Before too long Sir Evander maneuvered his large carriage into our yard, and he, Kel, Lord Amelius Claudius Rattanicus and THL Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn hopped out and helped us load up our gear. An uneventful trip along His Majesty’s highways soon found us entering the lands of the Canton of Caer Draeth.

The site was a bustle with activity as many people had made it to site before us. Fencers were stringing up a list field, as were youth combat marshals, and archers were already bending their bows. A crowd of folks walked around talking and enjoying the sun as the Crown participants armoured up in shade tents along the side of the outdoor list field.

We hauled our gear over to the far side of the lists, and set up beside Baroness Adrielle Kerrec, Sir Nigel Macfarlane and Lord William Donovan. We were soon joined by Lady Tarian verch Gadarn, Lord Eirik Andersen, Lady Lassarfhina inghean Uilleag (looking radiant in her new blue bliaut), Lord Rhisiart ap Meredudd and several others throughout the day. A shade was erected, a table set up, and food spread out.

On the other side of Nigel and Adrielle House Hrogn and House Galbraith had a pavilion where I was to later consume some most excellent lemon loaf.

When I went to change I discovered that I had forgotten my pants. Luckily, Evander lent me his to use.

Our Lawspeaker, THL Keja Tselebnika, gave me several issues of the Ursus to scan in an effort to bolster the Baronial Archives. Also, Lord Normand Hauberger gave me a copy of Dame TSivia’s Kingdom Histories to further the study and recording of our kingdom’s history.

Evander, Nigel and Rhisiart all armoured up and Evander warmed up against Lord Wat of Sarum, King’s Champion, looking very fancy in his new surcoat. I spent my time embroiled in squirely duties, fetching that and carrying this. The tournament’s procession was held inside the hall, with the thrones sitting under banners depicting each reign in the Line of the North. Each combatant and consort were given a handmade ceramic bottle created especially for the tournament.

Once all the combatants and their consorts had been introduced and made their pledges everyone filed outside so the tournament itself could commence. The full list of combatants and consorts were:

Count Sarnac Ba'adur for Countess Joleicia of Litchfield
Lord Evan Quicktongue for THLady Arnora Dunestan
Master Trumbrand the Wanderer for THLady Kaylah the Cheerful
THLady Kaylah the Cheerful for Master Trumbrand the Wanderer
Duke Roak of Ealdormere for Lady Jocea of the Rozakii
Lady Jocea of the Rozakii for Duke Roak of Ealdormere
THBaron Tankred of Tanglewood for THBaroness Rosalinda de la Fuentes
Lord Derfel Mallory for Lady Melisande du Rocher
Baron Phaidrig McNeil for Mistress Etaoin O'Fearghail
Sir Evander MacLachlan for THL Melusine De La Rose
Mistress Aelfwyn of Longwood for Baron Hereward the FarDweller
Lord Rhisiart ap Meredudd for Lady Lassarfhina inghean Uilleag
Streonwold Wulfesbana Hlaford for Lady Seonag nic Thomais
Sir Siegfried Brandboern for THLady Mauvrneen MacKellar
THLord Phelan Gann for Lady Maiwen Scarbrow
Sir Nigel MacFarlane for Mistress Adrielle Kerrec

The tournament was a good old-fashioned double elimination best of one tournament. The fighting was quick, exciting, and—from what I could see—clean. Evander made it into the quarter finals, but in his duel with Sir Roak his sword became entangled and this led to his defeat. The semi-finals were Sir Siegfried against Sir Sarnac, and Sir Roak against Master Trumbrand. Sarnac and Roak went on to the finals, with Roak crowning Jocea as Ealdormere’s new princess.

There then followed a very long meeting of the Order of the Chivalry that went on for many hours. So many hours in fact, that it ended just after feast had begun. Those of us who had not made it onto feast waited for our knightly companions to emerge so that we could go and find sustenance off-site. While we were waiting we spent the time in excellent conversation, and in trying to help a poor fellow who had lost his key in the grass.

We also celebrated Rhisart’s birthday with a small rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ and a chocolate cake provided by his family. And though it was not my birthday I did receive a late birthday present from Their Excellencies Corwyn and Domhnail Galbraith—a hand painted box. They also gave Þorfinna and I a large spoon brought back from their recent trip to China.

Eventually the knights and masters-of-arms emerged blinking into the sun and my companions and I set off for a certain Scottish restaurant for a quick dinner.

After we had eaten, Evander, Rattanicus, Þorfinna, Lady Ariana de la Rose and I were waiting in the lobby for Kel to rejoin us. After a few moments it was determined that someone should have to go in search of him in the garderobes. Evander proposed a game of paper-rock-scissors between the three men, which I tried to get out of by saying that I was not from their shire. No dice. So we played, and kept tying. And tying, and tying and tying. Until finally, with a muttered “Damn,” I was defeated and went at once to be about my mission. I entered the garderobes and called out for Kel, going to far as to look for his feet under stall doors, all the while being watched by a confused man drying his hands. I returned to the group empty handed, when someone suggested looking outside. Sure enough, there was Kel sitting on a bench sipping at a drink.

When we arrived back on site, we prepared for court. Since Evander now needed his pants I went bare legged.

A member of Bastille du Lac had contacted 3M, a company that produces a product dear to most every SCAdian’s heart—duct tape. Upon explaining to them what it is we do as a hobby, 3M delivered a flat of duct tape to Bastille. To that end, Bastille (and people who were drafted into helping) were going to deliver 200 rolls of duct tape to Their Majesties Aaron and Rustique. At court Evander presented himself to Their Majesties, and explained that Bastille had a gift to deliver to them. He then called for the gift to be brought in and Baldric ambled into court juggling rolls of tape, followed by Rattanicus and THL Tiberius bearing a chest full of tape. Next came Lord Brandt and Þorfinna with a pole arm slung across their shoulders, draped with rolls of tape. I followed, bearing a great sword holding many more rows. And then came Lord Ludwig, THL Dafydd and Donovan bearing boxes full to overflowing. The display was met with approval by the crowd, who applauded the presentation and cheered the gift from the shire.

I then drifted to the back of the hall to watch the rest of court, and could therefore not hear all of what transpired. I can report the following though:

Tiberius received an Award of the Orion, while Lassarfhina and Lady Ceridwyn y Anghofidig both received Awards of the Maiden’s Heart. There then followed the first of at least three standing ovations as the Trillium Herald, Percival deLaroque was inducted into the Order of the Wain, making him an Honourable Lord.

Not yet done assigning new rank to worthy individuals, Their Majesties then called Petrus of the Marines before them and made him a Baron of Their court.

Master Hector then stood to sing happy birthday to the queen, who remarked that it was not her birthday. Blame for this misinformation was spread about and soon Baroness Adrielle and Master Garraed Galbraith were standing before Their Majesties, all three of Laurels trying to explain how the error had occurred. They agreed that though it was not really Her Majesty’s birthday, they still wanted to present her with a gift—that of a new person to be placed on vigil for the Order of the Laurel. They then called on Her Excellency Septentria, Domhnail Galbraith, to join them. The crowd broke into ecstatic applause, and Baron Corwyn’s jaw dropped in amazement. It dropped further when Garraed asked the crowd to be silent so he could likewise call His Excellency Corwyn forward!

When the crowd finally quieted and the current members of the Order had congratulated Corwyn and Domhnail, court was concluded.

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Pikeman’s Pleasure 16, June 3, 2006
Laird Colyne Stewart

The waters of Cynred’s Bath surged with mighty fury, gushing down the spillway and sweeping under the bridge, lapping about the boards. The rain was—at times—torrential, and the waterways of Petrea Thule were swollen and wild. Thusly, many of the festivities for this year’s Pikeman’s Pleasure, the 16th of its line, happened inside.

Þorfinna and I arrived early and were mistaken for Cap’n Bloodfox and Cap’n Widow when we signed in at the gate. We quickly explained the mistake and the Guard of Petrea Thule took off the irons and let us go unfettered. We hauled our gear into the fighting hall, which is an arena in which the mundane locals play a game called ‘hockey.’ We used the visiters bench as an armour dump and changed, having some fun at poor Cadugan’s expense (who is a mighty fine sport).

While we armoured fighters were preparing ourselves, many merchants had set out their wares on the other end of the arena, and some fencers made use of the centre. There was an arts and sciences display somewhere, but I never found it as I stayed on the list field until it was time for feast.

Lady Tarian verch Gadarn arrived just in time for authorizations, and quickly put on her kit. She faced Lord Amelius Claudius Rattanicus in her primary authorization, which I am happy to say she passed. She is, as she beamed, now a real fighter chick. Another member of my canton, Lord William Donovan, authorized in double-handed thrust, pole arm and bastard sword.

After fighting some pick-ups the marshals ran a warlord tourney on a bridge marked out on the floor. My first draw was Her Lupine Highness, Jocea. We dueled mightily, both legging the other, until finally she slipped her sword point into my unarmoured arm pit to slay me, becoming not only my princess, but also my warlord. As the teams of two were set upon each other, Jocea turned to me and remarked that she somehow knew that we would face the team of Sir Edward the Red and Lord Edward dit Lyn, visiting from the East (where he had recently moved). I am ashamed to admit that I failed to protect my princess, and so we became subjects to Lord Edward, our new warlord. Eventually we ended up with three teams, one of them half the size of the other two, but made up mostly of members of the Order of Chivalry. A round robin was proposed, but in the end the small knight heavy team was spilt between the other two. We each took an end of the bridge for a best two out of three final. During the first engagement, Þorfinna single-handedly pushed back the entirety of her enemy’s line, in an amazing display of strength. I also had an outstanding moment on the bridge, though unfortunately for me it was comedic in nature. In our third battle I was on the right edge of the bridge, looking straight across at His Majesty Aaron, who had a spear. I knew that spear would be coming for me when we charged. The call came, I ran, I blocked the spear thrust. However, the thrust picked me up off my feet and sent me crashing off the bridge, laughing all the way.

I don’t even know who the victorious warlord was.

There then followed a spear tourney, single elimination tot here counted blows. I battled THL Ulvar van der Nederlanden, and then faced Sir Mordain Blackcloak. In our first engagement I ran past his defense and unleashed my inner badger (as Lord Wat of Sarum calls it) and chased him around the rink, making him duck and block and fight furiously to stay alive. I finally struck him on the shoulder but we both decided the blow had not been sturdy enough. We reset and I never got past his defensive stance again, and he struck me three blows to carry on (and eventually win the tournament).

At the side of the area, Sir Evander MacLachlan began a feat of arms. The Lady Safrida Axehammer had baked some shortbread, and she had given it to Evander. However, to keep the shortbread, Evander had to fight one hundred fights, and win at least fifty-one of them. I believe I was the second person to face Evander in his feat, while he was still nice and fresh and rested and he easily beat me in the two fights we fought.

While Evander continued his challenge, a bastard sword tournament was held, which was won by Sir Rory Cennedi.

Around this time Tarian had turned the penalty box into our lunch counter, and fed those of us from Ardchreag (and our friends) a constant stream of cheese, bread, pepperettes, cake, cookies, strawberries and other refreshments.

More pick-ups followed, and one of the people I fought was my squire-brother Lord Brandt das Lederwerker. Brandt had disappeared for almost two years due to mundane concerns, and upon his return this spring had brought upon himself the ‘wrath’ of our knight, Evander for a bit of schtick he did at court. As penance, Brandt was told to seek out every person who had been elevated to the Order of Chivalry, all those who had been elevated to the Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer, and all those who had received an Award of the Scarlet Banner during his absence and fight them. My Scarlet Banner, though received at the event after Brandt’s return, is dated as of the event just before his return, and so I was on the list. We fought three battles, all of which I won. Brandt, smiling, told me, “Boy, have you improved!”

The White Bear Fian—Septentria’s fighting order—then walked out onto the bridge. Sir Konrad Mattias Jaggaer von Dubrau, Sir Edward the Red, Sir Cennedi, THL Tiberius Brittanicus and I then challenged all who still had energy to face us in honour and courage until all were satisfied. Many brave and stalwart challengers answered the call, and we fought many group melees on the bridge, until we finally took a brief break. For Their Excellencies of Septentria brought us news of one who would challenge into our order. And so THL Baldric of Newcastle Emlyn was called before Their Excellencies and the Fian, and he made his public challenge, and his challenge was accepted as a good and right thing.

Sir Evander—also a member of the Fian—was then about to face his final fight, against his Majesty Aaron. Evander managed to defeat the King, and then learned that he had won sixty of his battles and thus got to keep the shortbread! However, in an act of largesse, he vowed to share the shortbread during feast (which he did, and it was delicious).

While the other fianna put back on their helmets, I walked back out onto the bridge, for our worthy opponents had been left waiting. I then faced three in single combat, losing the third bout, but winning the first two. The second bout was against THL Etain du Naval, a hulking giant with a reach almost as long as my body and great at the martial skills. We battled to and fro and I suddenly realized that we must be close to the bridge edge and so I gave a small nudge to the giant and he fell laughing into the drink.

More singles followed (with Þorfinna pushing Sir Konrad off the bridge), and then more group battles (with Sir Evander joining us for at least one). It was some of the most enjoyable fighting I have ever had the pleasure to partake in. In all the Fian held the bridge for an hour before we laid down our arms.

We then quickly changed for feast, which was a most scrumptious meal prepared by THL Augustyn of Ely and his staff. We sat at the end of a table beside Lady Ariana de la Rose and Lord Gavin of the Rozakii. I had never met Gavin before and found him to be a funny, affable fellow.

During the meal Their Majesties held an installment of Ealdormere Idol, and many good gentles stood up to entertain the crowd. The most skilled was Lady Raya of Petrea Thule, who sung a 7th century Arabic song, accompanying herself on drum. Lord Rattanicus, who was to squire to Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn later that evening, was told by his future knight that he was to sing for the crowd. Though at first unwilling, Rattanicus rose to the challenge and did his best. However, Melusine (playing the part of Simon) grabbed Sir Nigel MacFarlane and used him as a gong to try and end Rattanicus’ pain (as well as everyone else’s). Rattanicus, oblivious, continued on. Sir Nigel was gonged many times until finally he ran up to the front of the room, swept Rattanicus up over his shoulder and carried the poor man-at-arms away. Other singers included Sir Konrad (who got points for his hand gestures depicting flying reindeer), Master Worgen (doing a Wolfman Jack impression, albeit unknowingly), Edward dit Lyon and Lord Martin Bildner. Everyone in the room then got one free vote to cast for one of the singers, though extra votes could be bought for one dollar as a fundraiser for the kingdom. The three people with the most votes would take part in the Ealdormere Idol finals at War of the Trillium. Rattanicus bought many votes for Sir Konrad to ensure that he was not one of the finalists. In the end Raya was in first (by a landslide, and rightly so), with Master Konrad in second (much to the delight of Baroness Alyce who wanted to face down her husband in the finals), and Master Worgen in third. Worgen beat our Rattanicus by one vote, which Rattanicus bought just before the books closed.

THL Anne Tinker presented a flask to Edward dit Lyon for being the most chivalrous upon the field that day. A toast was then raised to absent friends.

When feast was completed many folk walked out to the island in the rain to witness Haus Sternstaubt as it welcomed two new squires. THL Augustyn and Lord Rattanicus (previously men-at-arms) both swore oaths of fealty to Sir Siegfried to become his third and fourth squires.

I then rushed back inside to attend His Majesty, for Lord Wat—the King’s Champion—had asked me to stand in for him that day and attend Aaron at court. I leaned the sword of state against my shoulder and took my place behind Aaron in the procession and walked into court (managing not to catch the sword on the two low overhangs we had to walk under). As His Majesty took his seat I took my place behind him and got to watch court from a most interesting perspective.

As always, I can not recall all of what transpired, but I do recall a few things.

In Septentrian court, Lord Cadugan was given an Award of the Golden Bear for his brewing and THL Anne Tinker handed over the keys of Petrea Thule to Lady Mahild de Valognes. Lady Mahild was recognized as the new baronial archery champion, taking over from THL Augustyn.

Lord Rattanicus was brought forth, and made a challenge to join entry to the White Bear Fian. To prove that he did truly care for the safety of the barony—and especially for the safety of the baron—he presented Corwyn with a scarlet hand-made leather jockstrap emblazoned with a white bear. The Fian conferred and agreed to accept Rattanicus’ challenge, but only if he agreed never to make such a thing again, and that he had to wear the jockstrap to at least three events.

In kingdom court Their Majesties called Þorfinna before them. Aaron told her that many people had approached him and told him of her mighty shield push, and so impressed was he to hear of it that he presented her with an axe.

Lady Mahild presented THL Anne Tinker with a token for being such an outstanding and giving person. Their Majesties bade Mahild remain with them in court, and presented her with an Award of the Maiden’s Heart. The archers of Peatrea Thule (who had shot in the rain) presented Her Majesty with gold (which she shared with the crowd).

As I said, there was more, but I cannot now recall it.

When court concluded, I returned the sword of state to the Royalty Room, and came back to the arena to find Sir Konrad talking with Þorfinna. He told her that he had brought a gift with him that day, which he was to give to someone who had impressed him on the field. After doing some singles with Þorfinna earlier in the day, he was most impressed with her improvement since the last time they had fought, and therefore he presented her with a beautiful knife blade.

We then packed up in the rain and headed home, exhausted and happy.

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June 5, 2006

Fighting – Sir Siegfried, Dagmar, Lord Donovan who sucks for having attended practice on the 29th but can’t remember who was there and forces me to find other sources, Andrew, Rhisiart, Sir Siegfried’s old buddy whose name I forget, hereafter referred to as Habib, and Wat.

Not Fighting – Glynnis who outlined a fabulous children’s schedule for War of the Trillium, Eirk Anerson, and his nice friend whose name I forget but who plays softball and was putting her armour together, Lassarfhina and her lovely children.

The evening started with a bit of physical training, light running by Donovan and Wat as a way to get the blood moving before starting to stretch and armour up. We both arrive early most days so it’s a way to get a little more out of our practice while we wait for the other combatants to show up. I also find it easier to slide into my tight-fitting helm if I lube up my head with a bit of sweat first.

All that being said and done we got some fluids, stretched, armoured up and started to fight. Donovan was not having his strongest practice at first. Donovan had an event recently where he didn’t perform up to his ability and at first it seemed to be continuing, where he was letting himself be drawn out a bit, and was routinely firing the same shots, allowing me to anticipate this. This may be influenced by the fact that he was able to kill me so regularly with those shots that I have trained him into my own version of Pavlov’s stick fighter, who throws a tight thumb lead every time I step into range. However I was blocking more of these this practice and thus got to chop at his leg until the conditioning wore off and Donovan landed a beautiful shot on my unarmoured bicep. Good colour on that one. Just when Donovan was warmed up he had to sort out some armour problems leaving me by my lonesome.

By this time Sir Siegfried was out on the field with his old school and D & D buddy Habib. Habib used to be one of the knights at the Medieval times in Toronto and has a history of stage & theatre fighting. He got out there and started to look pretty good immediately. He has a decent grasp of body mechanics and good aggression levels, so once he learns how to use his shield he will be cooking with gas. Despite using a sword that was about as tall as he was (long sword not-so-tall man) he still managed to get a few kills in, and more importantly, was having fun and enjoyed hitting people.

Rhisiart and I started to spar while Donovan was on repairs and he was looking pretty good. He already is a very dangerous fighter and has shown real improvements in his mechanics. He no longer fights like a big strong guy, but as a big strong guy who knows how to use body mechanics. Unsurprisingly his elbow doesn’t seem to be bothering him that much anymore 

I’m going to digress a little here in arrogant fashion. In our fight Rhisiart, who served me up several times make no mistake, is focusing too much up top. His attacks, with the exception of his rapidly improving off-body work, are primarily head, and this is also where he focuses his defence, with his centre boss rectangular shield. What is happening is that as he fires the shots high his shield floats up, letting his opponents target the leg and lower body. This is aggravated by the natural tendency of a 6 ft. 5 inch guy to want to throw a lot of high shots. So one can crouch a little, hunkered under your shield and hack his leg off. Or body if the angle is nice. If this can be taken care of then, quite frankly, I am not sure how I am going to kill him anymore, as I rely heavily on moving his shield up and down this way. I suppose in general terms this is really about controlling the fight, as the tendency to do things a certain way is allowing his opponents (or me at least) to maximize my defence and target his weaknesses, whereas keeping them (me) uncertain makes it more difficult for them (me) to defend against your attack. I am pretty confident that I am not the only one as I saw Rhis rubbing his leg after fighting Sir Siegfried 

Dagmar was fighting like a house on fire, and notably I saw her achieve a double-kill with Donovan, and kill on Sir Siegfried! Her aggressiveness is going up and she is tightening up her defence. It was nice to see her surprise a few very good fighters. You can tell that she needs a bit of training for work on her knees, which is partly the fault of our spending too much time training in spaces that don’t permit us to go to our knees. Now that we are heading into the outdoor season we should have plenty of time to correct that. Also worth noting were matches against the likewise vertically challenged Habib which looked like an awesome clash of the juggernauts.

Sir Siegfried seemed pretty relaxed for most of the night, not especially hungry for blood until he stepped up and did a very nice job turning my sword shoulder into chopped liver. I should not presume to instruct someone who was in the quarter finals at crown so recently, but in the spirit of friendship and further presumption I think Sieg could work on his attacks to my and other opponents shield-side head and leg, which he has admitted he has neglected, as that would force me into opening my sword-side up more to his vicious south-paw attack. All that being said Sieg still chopped us up for the most part.

We ended the night off with a bear-pit to give everyone the chance to mix it up a bit. Donovan and Siegfried were the general powerhouses in this mix, with Donovan stepping up his game a bit compared to earlier and Sieg hacking his way through all of us. The night finished with me and Sieg in the list and Donovan off instructing Andrew who had gotten into armour later. They seemed to have fun and hopefully Andrew’s knees will let him practice more actively soon.

Servicably yours,


All in all a good night’s work.

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Nigel, Adrielle and Donovan go to Lillies (written by Adrielle)
Trailers are IOTD
....that is Trailers are Instruments of the Devil.........here is some notes from our adventure on the way to Lilies. :)

Well we aren’t even there yet – in fact just over 2/3 of the way there and we have already encountered enough adventures. To such an extent that I worry that perhaps the universe it trying to tell us something. Luckily I don’t run easily.

When we went and picked up our trailer some weeks ago, well in advance of even going to Lilies, back before the cabin closed, we discovered that sadly it had succumbed to a degree of rust that just made me very unhappy. As such we decided to investigate and have the trailer repainted. Doug managed to locate a body shop just outside the Port who could do it for a reasonable price. Part of the deal was that we sand it down in advance as much as possible. Fine, good plan. So of course as the days progress and it gets closer to the time to take the trailer in the weather of course decides to be challenging and it proceeds to rain …….alot. Problem here being we don’t have a garage in which to sand the trailer down and the rain is less than helpful to those parts we have already sanded. I say we……….that should read Doug.

So trailer goes in the week prior to Lilies, which should be fine as the dude doing the painting told us it would only take part of day. Great, simple easy peasy right? Not soooo much. Day after we drop it off apparently the dude who works for painter dude decides not to come into work. This subsequently puts paint dude behind and the trailer is not started for a day.

It was not available for us to pick it up before Friday. So Doug goes off for an interview on Friday morning and swings by the trailer place on the way home. Plan being get trailer come home and we pack up and are ready to go shortly afternoon Friday.

Sadly the trailer lights no longer seem to work…they did all work prior to the paint job….we know this for a fact as we tested them………..sigh….Doug can’t get hold of painter dude. Doug looks at wiring but cannot seem to locate the specific issue as some lights work, some not so much. Plus it appears that the short in the lights has also managed to blow a fuse in the car. ……..great……….not.

So ok, we call Cdn Tire – they aren’t even willing to think about looking at it till Sunday, that clearly is no good as in theory by that time I am already several days into my vacation, relaxing at Lilies War in KC MO. So we try the local Ford Dealership, they too are unable to help us out on Friday and can’t do anything over the weekend as they only have “lube-ol-ogists” working on weekend (yes that is the word they used…..sigh). We end up calling our dealership in Lindsay and plead our case to our kind service manager and he aggress to get us in that very afternoon……..YEAH. So off goes Doug, and Donovan who has now arrived to travel with us, to Lindsay to have the wiring dealt with. Several hours and an unanticipated incurred expense latter they return with the car and trailer with all lights functioning……..yipppee. Time to pack and head out.

We get the car and the trailer loaded up and finally manage to get on the road at 5:19 pm…..some 5 hours after our original anticipated departure time. Perhaps here is a good point to rewind slightly and mention that our annual trek to Lilies War is an 18 hour drive through 1  definitely worth it, but nevertheless quite a haul so
JProvince and 5 states  getting on the road some 5 hours late affect things.

The original plan was to head out and hit St. Louis that night. Clearly leaving at after 5:00 pm threw a significant wrench in that plan. We agree to drive until we are tired hoping to get somewhere between Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. Now in this we have bought a new tent which we are to stop at and pick up from friend in Detroit where it was shipped to. They were going away for the weekend but assured me that they would leave it in their garage so no worries,…….. so plan is we swing by, grab tent from garage, put in trailer, carry on. Well we get there and lo and behold……….no tent in the garage and no one home. So we figure ok, we’ll try and track down a cell # for them, or a local friend and see if someone can let us in the house where we believe the tent is. This all of course takes time and soon it is after 11 pm and becoming too late to call folks. We try several numbers but no luck. It becomes clear that we are going to have to crash in Detroit for the night and try our luck in the morning……….so much for making it to Fort Wayne.

So we find ourselves a room at a local establishment, go on line and track down some phone numbers to try first thing in the am.; set the alarm for 7am and hit the sac. Morning comes and Donovan decides to check his voice mail back in TO for some reason……..not his usual routine he later advises but thank goodness he did decide to check it…..because the folks who were to leave our tent in their garage have called him and left a message to call them with a cell #....whoo hoo Few early morning calls are made, we are advised of the location for the key to the house and off we go. We managed to get the tent and are on the road from Detroit shortly after 8 am.

New plan, we will drive straight through to KC and Lilies. So in the car we get, driving driving driving …..Michigan, Ohio, into Indiana……….driving driving, chatting blah blah blah. Just outside Indianapolis the car suddenly seems to be dragging……….damn we have blow a tire out on our trailer…..and no it is not just flat…..it is blown out, shredded, not purdy. Luckily we managed to pull over right in front of a truck stop. Oh, did I mention it is pissing rain? Well it is. So here we are in Indiana with a blow out tire in the rain……..luckily we have a spare………..of course the jack and such are in the back of the car under the futon and several sets of armour………..did I mention the rain? At that point I recall that I have CAA and figure hey, lets call them…….great off we go. So I call CAA get put through to the Indiana AAA and am advised that yup they will come out but because I don’t have a RV Plus membership (which I didn’t know was an option) that it would be a cash charge to change the tire on the trailer………..grrrrr………fine…….whatever. So plan is that they (being AAA) will call us back at the truck stop (because I don’t have a cell phone) and let me know how much it will cost and when they’ll be there. As I wait I figure hey, why don’t I call CAA member services and see what adding this RV Plus to my CAA Plus will cost………turns out it is only $32.10 …….. perfect, I ask if they can do that. They advise me certainly and it will take effect in 7 days………….sigh……great. So I plead my case the nice man talks to his supervisor and they do what they do and finally advise me that yes they can make it effective immediately…….thank you
Jthank you thank you

So being a typical Canadian I figure the polite thing to do is to call the Indiana AAA and let them know that I’ve upgraded and they can now come and change our tire and it will be covered. Well the cranky operator I get proceeds to tell me that it doesn’t matter that I now have the RV Plus membership because in Indiana they only change tire on trailers who have a sleeping capacity…….ie RVs, Campers etc……..so it will still be a cash deal. At this point I am pissed (shocking I know)……..fine, send the damn truck and change the tire, I don’t care, I’ll pay,…..just make it happen. I am advised that the truck will be 30 min. Well gee that is time to make some more calls and express my dissatisfaction with not being able to have a tire changed on a trailer…….grrr. I call CAA member services back and explain my travails ……the operator tells me “you’ve got to be kidding?” ……. Uh yah, I like to make random crank auto calls from Indiana for fun while going on an 18 hour road trip………..Yes I am serious damn it.!!!!!!!!!!

CAA operator puts me on hold and calls Indiana AAA…..waiting, waiting, waiting….blah blah blah. Long and short CAA lady confirm that they have told Indiana AAA that they will cover the tire change, tells me that if there is a problemo, just pay in and submit it when I get back to Canada. Great……….

So head back out ……..luckily the rain has ended ……..truck shows up, nice man changes tire……….calls back in to Indiana AAA and they confirm that I don’t have to pay for the tire change. Sigh…….. We have decided in this that the spare although on and functioning ....... its life span is questionable…….plus it is a different size than the other tire. We make an adult decision to get off at a service garage and have new tires put on the trailer. Sounds simple right?..........not so much.

We head down the road and get off at the exit the nice tire changing man had advised us that there were several options for tire places. First stop….SquallorMart (aka Wall Mart)……we go to the “Tire and Lube Express”……….. note the words “tire” and “express”. Sounds promising……several empty service bays……..looks promising…..great. Well you’d think getting two tires, very common size as our trailer takes car tires, would be a fairly simple thing…………again not….so……much. Doug approaches the women at the desk and proceeds to say “Hi Cory” (he cleverly notes her name on her SquallorMart name tag) and explains that we have a bit of a dilemma and gee it would be ever so nice if they could help us out. She avoids eye contact ….. not a good sign. Well apparently SquallorMart has a policy that they don’t do trailer tires………even if they are car tires….. ….. I pop up and inquire, ok can you sell me two tires and loan me the tools to change the tires and I’ll do that myself? No……sigh……*&*%^*&& SquallorMart!!!!!!

Ok take two……..we cross the road and go to PepBoys, an auto store. We approach the nice man at the desk who is actually capable of making eye contact and make the same inquiries. He punches various things into his computer…..and lets us know that the only tires they have in stock that are the size we need cost …..wait for it……………$126.00 each……….plus installation, balancing etc………plus they are ……….the fellow looks around, covers his mouth and coughs “they’re crap”. Essentially he wouldn’t recommend the tires especially at that price. We appreciate his honesty and ask – hey if we say went and snagged some tires at SquallorMart could they install them? He again looks around and then tells us in hushed tones……”No not now, but after 6pm when his manager leaves they could…..” Well although we appreciate his honesty and willingness to try to help us out, we’d prefer to get back on the road sooner and as such carry on our way to try the next service location.

Take 3 – we approach a NAPA Autoparts,…….as we pull up I note that they close at 4pm…..it is 3:30. Well thankfully third try was the charm…….they have tires that will fit at a not outrageous price and are wiling to do it immediately. YIPEE. So they pull the trailer in……..we zip to BurgerKing and grab some food. We come back to get the trailer, present Mark the lovely service man  He is a good sport and promptly
Jwith a BK Crown for being a King amongst men  puts it on !

So back on the road………..two days into our trip and still not there………sigh. Ah well, all things said it had not been anything heinous (touch wood), we are going to stop in St. Louis at friends tonight as we may as well take advantage of a dry bed and shower rather than showing up at site at 1am. Plan now…..again touch wood, is to get up early and make site by noon. Here’s to hoping.
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Ard Creag Fight Practice

June 5,2006 at the school... well, their school

(Todd or Mel, please correct or add in names if you want... not that
you were there *pout* hard to visit family when family isn't there to
hit you.)

Ard Creag - Wat, Donovan, Seigfried (sp), Ken Barton ( though I didn't
know that until we had fought)
Skeltergate - Rhisart,
Galbraith - Dagmar

Finally by the end of the night the guy (Andrew) who usually comes and
uses the doorway was in armour and being put through paces by Donovan.
He used to come and use trees as pells at Casa Loma and drive me nutty.

Not Fighting:
Skeltergate - Lasirsheneedstogetaneasiernametospell, Kyla, Braeden,
Ard Creag - Eirik Anderson, and a few other women who I very rudely
didn't get names from since we got there late and I was putting on

So things looked very promising for a large turn out from the number of
cars in the parking lot but there was just six of us fighting.

Eirik was arming Ken in his kit so he didn't fight. Ken went out to
get his first lessons in SCA fighting ( vs medieval times, teakwondo or
the other combat he has done) from Seigfried on the soccer field for
the first bit of the night.

Wat and Donovan had a few rounds and then Wat and I warmed up.

We moved on to a bear pit of the three of us as Rhisart was helping
Seigfried by being the right handed fighter for Ken to line up against.
Noticed that Donovan does a lot of waiting for people to commit to a
blow and Wat was playing with what seemed like a few new combinations.
Took me a while to get the calibration up but did remember to move
about the field a bit rather than staying rooted. Rhisart and
Seigfried had a few bouts and then entered the list of the bear pit.
Happy Dag moments included double kills with both Seigfried (refought
and I won) and Donovan (refought and I lost). Came in to get water and
missed the battle between Rhisart and Seigfried Rhisart though has
evidential proof of two tattoos of sword blades on both the inside and
outside of the shoulder - they should be beautiful by Thursday.

As the bugs got worse and the night darker the playing moved indoors. I
got in to a mashy pow with Ken which I finally ended by killing him but
I had moved from my legged position ( we were playing legged = planted
leg) to do so, so I left the field to him. We finished early and most
of us were unkitting by 9:30 when Donovan took Andrew out to play

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Swimming with White-belted Sharks
Event Report: Sir Osis Memorial Fighter Day II, June 10, 2006
Laird Colyne Stewart

The day was cold. There was a fairly strong breeze blowing, and it brought an unseasonal chill to the air. However, for those of us who had attended the Sir Osis Memorial Fighters’ Day last year, who remembered how hot and humid the hall had been, we welcomed the chill.

Once again Sir Evander MacLachlan stopped at Drew’s Keep to pick up Þorfinna and myself, this time accompanied by Lord Amelius Claudius Rattanicus and Lord Cameron MacGregor. We quickly stowed our gear and headed out, already running behind schedule as the good knight and his two companions had been held up by a very slow waitress named Wendy at her inn.

We arrived on site around eleven of the clock, and found that most people were still arriving so we had not missed anything. Like at Pikeman’s the week previously, we would be fighting in a hockey arena. We quickly armoured up and I walked out on the field and grabbed the first person standing on their own to warm up with. As fate would have it this was Lord Stevan Ulfkellson of AEthelmearc, who I had warmed up against at this event the year before.

After warming up with a few more folks I made the aquantaince of the Wandering List Table and the Fencer’s Melons. THL Gwerydd verch Rhys—with a sign saying ‘List Table’ on her back—walked around the arena, looking wistfully at the fighting that was going on without her. Ladies Rusalka Galbraith and Jocelyn Cranewell plied all fighters present with their melons (watermelons, you dirty minded buggers) as well as orange slices, crackers and pretzels.

Something was in the air that morning, and I was not the only one to remark that they were finding it a little hard to breath.

As last year there were several out of town guests, including Sir Rurik and Master Ruslon. This year we had an extra-special guest in the form of Duke Paul of Bellatrix, who had come to take part in a Scola Durus Maleus, organized by Lord Derfel Mallory. For a sum (to cover the travel expenses), several fighters—going in in pairs—each got twenty minutes of instruction from the good duke. This lasted most of the day, while the rest of the fighting was taking place.

The first organized activity was a session of Meet the Chiv. All members of the Order of the Chivalry present scattered themselves around the arena, and all other fighters interested in taking part could walk up to a knight or master-at-arms and talk. I joined Master Worgen along with Streonwald Hlaford, Lord Leod, Lord Bjarn and several others. Worgan talked to us about the mental aspect of fighting, and then ran us through a bear-pit. I fought him at least four times, and each time he legged me with the exact same little under the shield wrap that gave me a nice series of stripes that grew together into one large bruise by the next morning.

After around twenty minutes people moved to a new member of the Chiv, but as I was off talking to someone by this point I missed the announcement.

A shark pool tournament followed, with each pool growing up around a member of the Chivalry. Since I had never fought Master Trumbrand the Wanderer before I joined his pool, along with Arminius the Footsore, Lady Dagmar Halvdan, Lord Hamish Gunn, Baethan, Lord Bjarn and THL Etian du Naval. We quickly ran through a round robin, best two out of three, where I only managed to score two victories. The victor of each pool then went on to form a new pool, but I did not watch these finals. Instead I went in search of more pick-ups.

I found Sir Konrad Matthias Jaeggar von Dubrau looking lonely, having just emerged from his Scola with Bellatrix. With his mind awhirl with new knowledge to try and apply we went at it. We had some good bouts, with one standing out in my mind. I managed to get a head shot in on him that popped his visor out of alignment. We must have made an odd sight as Konrad hit himself in the head with his basket hilt, while I pushed up on the grill to try and get it back into place. When we were done, Konrad told me that I had some good stuff, which I take as a high compliment.

Next we fought a warlord tourney. My first draw was my raven-brother Hamish Gunn, armed with a pole arm. I defeated my brother, to become a warlord for the first time ever. He and I faced a team of two, and I quickly dispatched their pole arm, but was slain by their sword and shield. Undaunted, Hamish took out their shield man, and we went on in search of a team of four to face. This battle we lost, and I was a warlord no more. After that, details get foggy. I do remember one battle where I was killed, but as I fell I got entangled with a person beside me who had died at the same time. The battle surged over us and our tangled limbs, and I found myself lying on my back, with my shield flat out at my side. Someone stepped down on the edge of my shield and twisted my arm (which is still sore as I type this five days later). I am not sure who in the end won, but the battles were much fun.

At this point both Þorfinna and I were feeling a bit unwell so we went outside. I know now that this was the onset of a stomach flu that would plague us until Wednesday. I considered stopping for the day. However, when we went back in the arena I saw Etian talking to a group of fighters and went over to listen. I asked Derfel what was going on and he said, “Unbelts,” and dragged me by my squire’s chain into the circle. Etian, new captain for the Unbelts this year, gave some rousing, enthusiastic talks, and then had us all split into mini-units of five fighters, each with specific functions within that unit. We then ran through several melees with all the other fighters present. We started out a little slow, but as we went on we improved, and at the end of the last battle Etian called for all dead fighters to take a knee. His point here was to show the Unbelts that we had killed two-thirds of their vastly more experienced team.  At the end of each battle Etian would go up and down the line praising what we had done well and gently pointing out what we needed to improve. He was an inspirational man to fight under.

When the Unbelt practice was over, Berus ran a Kill the Warlord melee. His Majesty Aaron and His Highness Roak each collected fighters to be on their teams. As I stood talking to Dagmar and Emma of Greenhithe, Aaron walked up and swept out his arms and carried us to his end of the arena. Once both sides had been set, we had our helms taped, and the Warlords took their place in the creases (from which they could not leave). The battle would be a limited resurrection battle, with each team having one hundred lives total. The object was to kill the opposing Warlord before they could kill yours. At one point in the melee that followed I was legged (likely by Trumbrand who legged me at least five or six times throughout this battle), and one of the opposing fighters yelled at his comrade to “Ignore the guy on his knees!” His comrade listened, and I killed him for it. Eventually, my back gave out (as it sometimes will) and I had to leave the battle and watch from the side lines. Our two teams were fighting very differently. Roak’s team was being very defensive, setting up a long line in front of him, letting Aaron’s team throw themselves onto their weapons. If Aaron’s side had made a concentrated assault to break through the line we might have had a chance, but going in in little groups just ate away at our numbers.

When the first Kill the Warlord melee was over (with Roak’s side victorious I believe) I took over marshalling for THL Dafydd ap Sion who was preparing to leave. The Warlords were changed (so Roak and Aaron could get more fighting in) and the number of resurrections was dropped to fifty. In all I think we ran the scenario three times.

During the third bout of Kill the Warlord Rattanicus dropped his gear, and went to Dairy Queen in honour of his squire-brother Lord Eirik Andersen. (Eirik, who could not be present that day, is known for taking trips to DQ when at events.)

Many fighters had by this time begun to drop their kits, but since we still had the field for fifteen minutes, those that remained fought an unlimited Resurrection Battle to run out the clock.

Once we had all changed, we went upstairs for an Osis-style feast: wings and beer. Master Worgan, not content with just his wings, had a friend smuggle him in a hamburger from Lick’s, which he had to protect from many other hungry fighters.

During the mass consumption of wings, Berus toasted the memory of his good friend Osis, who had passed away after a car accident while he was reigning as king of Ealdormere in 1999.

Derfel then took the floor on behalf of the Scola, and thanked all those who took had taken part that day, and in all the past scolas this year. He especially thanked all those who had taught at the scolas. At each scola, points had been awarded for attendance, placement in tourneys and for chivalrous behaviour, and Derfel was pleased to announce that Lord Wat of Sarum had acquired the most points this year. To acknowledge this, Derfel had bought a warhammer (the symbol of the Scola) and had placed a plaque on it with Wat’s name. Wat will hold the hammer until the next Scola winner is announced. He then unveiled a Scola t-shirt (that fittingly came in black and blue) that each of the day’s Scola participants were to receive. The Scola’s hammer was on the front, with a list of all the year’s teachers on the back. Derfel should be congratulated for organizing what is (I think) a worthy contribution to our kingdom.

There then began another Osis tradition—the signing of bruises. Those with nice bruises would unveil them for all to see, while those who had given them the bruise would sign it with a pen. Emma of Greenhithe went first, with a very large purple bruise on her upper thigh. Worgen then drew me over so I could drop my pants and show the similarly placed bruise that he had given me. People seemed shy this year, but soon they got into the spirit of things and many bruises were oohed and aahed over.

When the event was over, many retired to the keep of Berus and Marion for a post-rev.

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Households Unite!
Event Report: Murder Melee in the Meadow, June 13 – 18, 2006
Laird Colyne Stewart

Team: The Ursinators

Sir Evander MacLachlan
            THL Tiberius Britannicus
            Lord Brandt das Lederwerker
            Laird Colyne Stewart
            Lord Cameron MacGregor
Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn
            THL Dafydd ap Sion
            Lord Eirik Andersen
            THL Augustyn of Ely
            Lord Amelius Claudius Rattanicus
Sir Rory Cennedi
            Lord Wat of Sarum

Team Record: 5 – 1

Overall placement: 2nd

The day was bright. The sky was clear of clouds, and the sun was shining. The heat was high (in the mid 30s), it was humid, and the plant life was spreading its pollen.

Ah, summer had arrived, in all its blazing, burning, eye watering, sneezing fury.

Around half past eight in the morning, Sir Evander yet again stopped his wagon at my keep to pick me up. This time I went alone, as Þorfinna would be engaging in her other geekdom that day (that of the Browncoats). With Evander were Rattanicus, Cameron, Kel of Bastille and Argyle of Bastille. We loaded up my gear, which included a sun shade. Since there was room, we slide in a second shade as well.

We got to the site in good time, taking a shortcut that Rattanicus asserted saved us twenty minutes whereas Evander insisted it saved but ten. We set up our shades beside Sir Sarnac and Sir Kasamir’s combined team (called the SarKasmic Horde), with whom we were to share good food, drink and camaraderie throughout the day. We were quickly joined by Tiberius, Eirik, Dafydd and Augustyn who were already on site. Brandt arrived not too much later, giving me a second half gauntlet bearing my device that he had been labouring on for me. Fighters began slowly putting on their kits, a little lethargic in the heat.

Sir Siegfried pulled me aside and said that he wanted to name the team in honour of Septentria (as he has tried to name his teams in the past) and suggested the Ursinators. He wanted me to suggest the name, knowing that his good friend Evander would resist it if he suggested it himself. I agreed. Later, when Evander spoke up and said we needed a name I instantly said, “Ursinators.” Evander was surprised that I had come up with that suggestion so quickly, but everyone seemed happy with it and that is what we went with. When he later found out he had been played, Evander made one of his trademark faces, and I’m sure I will pay for my petty treachery later.

Amid a rush of Terminator jokes (“Come with me if you want to win”) we finished armouring up, and Wat and Cennedi showed up just before the list table closed. They put up a third sunshade, which was just enough to cover us all.

Since we had twelve people on the team (and only ten could be on the field at a time), Evander found another team for Kal and Argyle to join to ensure that everyone would get in as much fighting as possible. They joined the Marines, and made quite an impression (especially Arglye).

Lord Ludwig von Eisengrim arrived, blinking sleep out of his eyes, and found that due to a miscommunication error between himself and Evander that there was no longer a spot for him on the team. Luckily he was able to join the Ramshaven-Eoforwic Alliance and got in a full day of fighting.

While I was speaking to Her Excellency of Septentria, the Baron of Ramshaven came over looking slightly sheepish. He told Domhnail that Ramshaven had stolen away the Citie Guard of Eoforwic to fight at their side. Domhnail asked if Ramshaven was trying to invade her territory, but I remarked that it sounded more like her loyal Eoforings were taking over Ramshaven. Her Excellency Alyce, who had joined us, asserted that this was simply a friendly contractual arrangement between cousins, which was sealed amiably when Konrad gave Domhnail some liquid fortification.

When everyone was finally ready to fight we found that there were seven teams. They were: the Ursinators, the Rozakii, Septentria, the Ramshaven-Eoforwic Alliance, the SarKasmic Horde, the Marines and Tark’s Mongol Horde. The tournament was a round robin, and with only seven teams the tourney went very fast.

We had to cycle through our fighters a little bit, since we had twelve members. Even though I tried to take a turn to sit out it never transpired until the finals (when I was wounded). Generally, Siegfried, Cennedi, Evander, Wat and Rattanicus acted as flankers, so I was placed in command of our shieldwall since I had the most combat experience out of the others. I can tell you, it felt pretty good with the giant Augustyn on one side of me and the sturdy Dafydd on the other. Our speed was not so great, but we did not lack in strength.

In the first few encounters our shieldwall was destroyed fairly quickly, but since we had never acted as a unit before I was not too surprised. As the day went on we became much more coherent and became much more effective at moving as a unit and staying together. Both Cameron and Eirik fought very well.

In our battle against Septentria I took a sore wound. I was felled by a pole arm, and as I was falling someone hit me very hard across the back of the neck. I almost had to stop fighting because of the pain and the ensuing headache but I stuck with it for the body of the tournament.

In one of the Marines’ battles, Argyle found himself alone, facing seven opponents. In an amazing display of swordsmanship he managed to wittle the other team down to only two before being felled himself.

When all the battles were done, it was announced that the two finalists were to be the undefeated Rozakii, and the Ursinators. We were given a fifteen minute rest, and then we set up on the field again. The final was to be a best two out of three, though we had agreed to fight the third fight even if it wasn’t needed, simply for friendship and the joy of battle. I took part in the first battle, which we lost, but then my injury sidelined me for the last two fights. We lost the second battle as well, making the Rozakii the victors of the day.

I was not planning to fight anymore that day, but an Unbelted practice was being held, so I put my armour back on, promising my team mates I would stop if I needed to. It was announced to us that THL Etian du Naval was the official new captain of the Unbelts while Baron Tynne Duair Ap Beul would be the tactician. The Unbelts were sent to one end of the field, while most of the other fighters still present took the other side. In the battles that ensued, the Unbelts tried to implement the strategy that the Rozakii had been using all day. It did not work as well for the Unbelts as it had for the Rozakii (which is not surprising since as I understand it, the majority of the Rozakii have the opportunity to practice together once a week). Still, the Unbelts worked better together in each subsequent melee.

When our lines would meet, I always ended up facing Sirs Konrad and Edward the Red, and as such took many pole arm blows to the head. This, on top of the previous shot to the neck, caused me to withdraw from the practice. When I came off the field, Dafydd put his hand on my arm and told me that I was burning hot to the touch, right through my clothes. I stripped down to my pants, and my team mates made faces at the bruise on the back of my neck. My raven-sister Lady Dagmar Halvdan attended me, and gave me a menthol cooling pad which eased the swelling and the pain, and I am most grateful for her kind attention.

When the Unbelted practice was over, a Kingdom Fight Practice was held, but most fighters were dropping their kits because of the humidity. However, a few brave and hardy souls did fight on.

Several of my team mates then had to run off for a meeting of the Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer, and the rest of us took the opportunity to eat, drink and relax in the shade. When the meeting was over, several folk took advantage of the Saxon Showers. We left site just before court, and went in search of steak.

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-----Original Message-----
From: Skeldergate@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Skeldergate@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tanya Imrie
Sent: Monday, June 19, 2006 4:42 PM
To: Septentria; Skeldergate
Subject: [Skeldergate] Skeldergate Demo - Thank you's

Earlier today we put on a demo for the Home Educators of York Region.  There were over twenty children and about eight adults (all dressed in “medieval” clothing) to take part in the demonstration.  In spite of the threat of thunderstorms, the day turned out to be a sunny success!
I would like to thank our contributors; we simply couldn’t have done it without the generous contribution of their time and expertise.
Paul/Berus: Thank you for marshalling the martial activities, explaining (and demonstrating) this “extreme sport” and what it represents in the medieval period.  And an extra big thank you for wrangling Luke and The Bubba into joining us.
Luke and Bubba: Thanks for being dragged… it was great to have 6 fighters on the field (man, was that yard HUGE!)  Because of you we were able to have tournament style fighting AND some melee!
Kirsten/Dagmar:  Thank you for packing along your sunshade (even though we didn’t need it), your amazing banners and your “show and tell” period helms, gauntlets and mail.  The kids had a fantastic time!  AND in addition to all that, thank you for strapping on your armour and fighting t’boot.
Sean/Eoin:  Thank you for brining along your stunning calligraphy and illumination work, I only wish I’d had more time to pour over it myself!  You too strapped on the armour and did BOTH class and fighting.  You were an inspiration, I think the “Lady” whose honour you fought for is still blushing!
Morgan/Rhisiart:  Thank you for rolling out the posters and teaching heraldry (and reminding us where we can still see it today!)  Thanks too for adding yet another day of mashy-pow to your week (what’s that now, six of the last nine days?)
Michaela/Tarian:  Thank you for bringing your beautiful embroidery, and for brining Mel.  Your presence and participation was a great asset.
Mel (who’s so new she doesn’t have an SCA name yet!):  Thank you for showing the group how to spin thread and yarn from fleece… your drop spindle collection is being put to good use!
And a special mention to Abi, Ethan and Bradon for being the adorable garbed toddler contingent!
The group also prepared a lovely feast, and invited us to dine with them.  All in all, it was a pleasant and well-received endeavour.
Huge renown to you all!  You deserve a big pat on the back.
Demo organizer extraordinaire
(and Skeldergate Seneschal, so it’s kinda my job…)
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On June 24th and 25th Bastille du Lac held a demo within its borders. Sir Siegfried Brandbeorn attended and won every tournament held on the Saturday.

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Event Report: War of the Trillium II, June 28 – Jul 2, 2006
Laird Colyne Stewart

The year is 1203 and the armies of the Fourth Crusade have Constantinople under siege.  In typically Byzantine fashion the Frankish/Venetian army has been called upon to invade the city by Prince Alexius of Constantinople, son of the deposed Emperor Isaac.  Alexius has begged aid of the assembled Frankish & Venetian armies of the Fourth Crusade to aid him in restoring the scarlet buskins of the Emperor to his father, who languishes in prison where he was thrown after having his eyes torn out by his brother.
After much discussion, the crusaders, who have been much weakened by the desertions of faithless nobles who have forgotten the meaning of their word, agree to aid Prince Alexius against his usurping uncle.   In return for the Crusaders aid Alexius has sworn to then to the following conditions, that he would place the Empire once again under the authority of Rome from which it has been long estranged; 200,000 marks plus provisions for every man in the army; 10,000 men plus himself to accompany the crusaders to liberate Jerusalem; to maintain 500 knights in the Holy City, at his own expense, for its protection so long as he lives.
At the urging of King Phillip of Germany and Pope Innocent the Third the Crusaders agreed to divert their path from Jerusalem to help Prince Alexius to regain his father’s throne.  Thus we come before the walls of Constantinople, the greatest city in Christendom, with the continued hope of the liberation of Jerusalem at stake, as well as the fate of the Byzantine Empire.  On land the combined armies of the noble French barons line up with their German brothers.  On sea the Venetians order their fleet, bristling with mangonels and petraries, fore and aft castles heavy with scaling ladders and lances.  Upon the walls of the city the Byzantines are fortified by English and Danish soldiers armed with battle axes, along with other sundry Eastern mercenaries, while the Greek knights and their mounts wait in reserve behind the imposing city walls.

This was the theme of this year’s War of the Trillium, as written by Lord Wat of Sarum. The forces of the Byzantines were to be led by THL Baldric Leeman of Newcastle Emlyn, while the Crusaders were to be led by Lord Derfel Mallory.

The event this year began on Wednesday, but my lady and I could not take the day off work. As soon as we could we slipped out the door and flew to the site. Once there we went to the House Galbraith encampment which had been roped off on Monday night. A few giant pavilions had already been set up, including one for the vigil for Crowyn and Domhnail Galbraith, the Baron and Baroness of Septentria. We found a nice spot under a tree and proceeded to pitch our new tent. The a-frame that Thorfinna and built back in 2004 had given up the ghost at Pennsic 2006, with a massive waterproofing failure during a pounding thunderstorm. Luckily, Baroness Adrielle Kerrec and Sir Nigel MacFarlane had a Roman-style wall tent they were willing to part with. We bought the canvas from them, and using the instruction provided by the supplier, made tent poles. Once we got the tent up we realized that the rather vague instructions, which had told us to make the front and rear pole ‘approximately 7 feet,’ was too vague. Our poles were seven feet, and they lifted the door flaps up and off the ground. We made a mental note to bring a saw back with us to site the next day and left to run some last minute errands.

As an aside it should be noted that at least two other people also set up their Roman wall tents this event for the first time, and also discovered that their poles were too long.

When we returned to the site early Thursday afternoon with the rest of our gack, some of our raven-brothers and –sisters had arrived. Thorfinna and I lay the tent down on the ground, cut down the poles by three and a half inches, stood it back up, and now found that it was perfect. We unloaded our car, loaded our tent and sat down to share some food.

Just as I was about to enjoy a piece of chicken (I love chicken) two members of the Barony of Skraeling Althing entered our camp, concerned over the amount of space that had been set aside for the Galbraith encampment. One of them walked off, but Lord Hamish Gunn and I got up and walked over the vigil area with the second person, explained about how many people were coming to camp with the Galbraiths (about 40 people), how many large pavilions were coming, and that we were hosting the vigil. Still, trying to be nice neighbours, we shrunk the vigil and I moved the road a little bit to give them more room. I got a beard scratch in return, but was disappointed to learn when I went back to my camp that all the chicken was gone.

At one point Lord Berend van der Eych and I were talking to Wat, when we noticed that the edging had all come off his shield. We told him that he should take this opportunity to take the giant concave bend out of his shield. Asking how he would do that on-site, I told him to use a picnic table. He was incredulous and found the idea highly dubious. So Berend grabbed his shield, and we found a table and he began to slide the shield between planks on the table and bending the shield. Now this was noticed by the folk in the Petrea Thule camp, and several of them came over. They stripped Wat’s shield of his handle and arm strap and the massive Lord Augustyn of Ely began to bend Wat’s shield by hand! Wat was looking rather white and worried, but in the end he was astonished and pleased to be handed a nice flat shield with a gentle curve. By this time quite a crowd had gathered to watch.

At one o’clock Artisan’s Row opened. Lady Caitlin had spearheaded an ambitious project to have almost continuous hands-on arts and sciences running Thursday afternoon, and all day Friday and Saturday. Several tents were set up, with armouring trees showing what lessons were currently underway and what lessons were coming up. Some of the classes held included: lace making, hand sewing a Geteld tent, sail making, pewter casting, sprang weaving, netted hairnets, heraldry, and the second Iron(age) Chef contest. I never had a chance to really poke my head in to see what was going on, but every time I walked past the Row was a buzz of activity.

A torchlight tourney was supposed to be held that night, but since only about four or five people (Thorfinna and I being some of them) were willing to put on armour, it was postponed to Friday night.

Friday morning my lady and I slept in late. We got up and almost immediately put on our armour. Walking to the battlefield we found Lord Derfel in full Crusader kit, complete with chain mail coif and red cape. Once all the fighters were assembled sides were chosen. The numbers would fluctuate throughout the day, but were more or less even for the most part.

Þorfinna and I joined the Crusaders and Derfel gave us a baldric emblazoned with a Crusader cross. Þorfinna was joined by her knight Sir Cennedi, and her soon-to-be squire-brother Wat.

The battles set out for the War of the Trillium followed the siege of Constantinople. This day would be a series of boat battles, and then a landing battle as the Crusader’s landed on the shores.

First we fought a boat battle. Boats had to be at least two fighters strong. A fighter left on their own could not operate their boat and had to stand in place until they were joined by at least two other people from their side. Each side had fifty total resurrections, with the captains being worth three lives. Any Royalty present were also worth extra lives.

The first time we ran through this scenario there was no limit on how large a boat could be. As such, Baldric had his forces gather onto one large boat in front of his rez point. The Crusaders (who were outnumbered by about 50% at this point) died horrifically, but gloriously. In the following boat battles, the boats could be no larger than five people, and this made for more interesting fluid fights. I do not now recall just how many times we ran through this scenario, or even who won in the end, as I was having difficulty breathing and had to step out.

The boat battles were followed by a Galleon battle. Sir Berus, the Marshal in Charge, laid out a rectangle with hay bales that measured approximately 15’ x 12’. Equal forces of Crusaders and Byzantines (numbering eleven to start) took to the galleon. The galleon battles were to the last man, with no resurrections. The battles lasted approximately 10 or 15 seconds. As I recall we ran through this four or five times, with the Crusaders winning all but one bout. Þorfinna—who people had begun calling Juggernaut after Pikeman’s—continued to earn her nickname as she pushed people overboard.

A Ship Landing Causeway Battle was then held. The Byzantines had to defend the gate, while the Crusaders had to breach the gate and maintain control of it for a few seconds (marshals’ discretion). Each side had a rez point and 50 resurrections per side. The battle was to be fought as best two out of three. The first time we ran through the causeway the Crusaders won, though the rules had to be rethought out and this bout ended up not counting. However, the Crusaders would go on to win two of the three bouts to win this war point. The Juggernaut continued her rampage and ploughed through the Byzantine lines (pictures of which were captured by Lord Eirik Andersen).

By this point fighters were exhausted from the heat and mugginess and were beginning to get a little sloppy. Berus called it a day, and only a few hearty souls stayed for pickups. I took the opportunity to have my squire-brother THL Tiberius Brittanicus whup me good.

That night Ramshaven hosted a Bacchanalia party with a Kama Sutra theme in the battlefield pavilion. On the field four torches belched flame to the sky as a small but hardy group of fighters gathered for a torchlight tourney. I could not go to watch the tournament as I was working at a vigil, but I heard from many people later how well my brother Lord Snæbjörn sverðsbrjótr (called Swordbreaker) fought that night. In the end, His Royal Majesty Aaron defeated Sir Nigel to win the tourney.

As I mentioned, I spent the evening at a vigil. The Baron and Baroness of Septentria, Corwyn and Domhnail Galbraith, had both been placed on vigil for the Order of the Laurel. Their fellow Galbraiths strung up Septentrian and Ealdormerean walls about the vigil area in their camp, and set out two tables groaning with food (one holding period food, and one holding modern food). A craft table was set up where people waiting to go in and speak to Corwyn and Domhnail could draw, paint or carve soap. A roaring fire was lit, and people sat around it singing songs. Corwyn and Domhnail waited in the baronial pavilion for each visitor, with one wall lowered so they could look out over moonlit grass and watch the dancing fireflies. They were a bit surprised by the parade of semi-drunken men with glowing nipples who buzzed by the opening at one point, but took it all in stride.

Several memories stand from the vigil stand out in my mind. Most of them having to do with THL Etian du Naval. Firstly, Etian asked me if I wanted a beer, I responded that I did not have one with me. Without a pause he gave me his Hammer cup to drink from and would not take no for an answer. I was honoured to be entrusted with it and held on to it tightly with both hands all night until I returned it, worried that someone might knock it from my hand.

The second and third memory concerning Etian was watching him loose at a drinking game to one of the minions, and Etian eating too many oysters. (Drinking and oysters made for a sick Etian the next day.)

I had to be on my guard all night as the seneschal of Monadh—His Excellency Cynred—repeatedly tried to assassinate me so he would not have to turn in his seneschal’s report. Luckily my beers were +50 healing potions, and all was well. In truth I do not get to hang out with Cynred enough, and spending so much time in his company was a rare treat. We were told that in the dark we were hard to tell apart, but we thought it was quite obvious. After all, he’s a gnome and I’m a dwarf.

The vigil eventually ended at 2:30 am, with the party moving to the Rozakii encampment. The Galbraith and Hrogn then went in together to see Corwyn and Domhnail and give them their gifts. The ‘Thongs of Freedom’ were quite a sight to see. Þorfinna and I gave them the same advice everyone from Ardchreag had given them that night: to keep on truckin’!

The next morning we found out about two practical jokes that had been performed. The first, was the application of non-lubricated ‘protection’ being applied to all of Baron Richard Larmer's weapons. The second concerned Baldric, and the turning of his tent so that when he returned from partying he could not locate the door.

On Saturday I woke up with a headache. As such, I went off-site with Þorfinna when she went to buy some tickets online for an upcoming science-fiction convention (where a certain cast member of Firefly will be putting in an appearance). We went by our house, I took some pills, we had a shower and then we did some errands. We picked up some juice and coffee for people on-site, and also grabbed two boxes of popsicles.

When we got back we gave a newly constructed ‘Clue x 4’ to THL Anne Tinker who was working the gate, complete with handle. We then got changed and made our way to the fighting field and became exceeding popular as we handed out popsicles to the over-heated fighters.

We didn’t end up fighting at all that day, which is unfortunate, for Berus’ excellent scenarios continued that day. The most talked about was the single sword woods battle.

Earlier that day there had been a newbie tournament, which was won by Lord Derfel’s son. I heard that my brother did well in this tournament too. Both he and Þorfinna were given war points by the captains for their martial endeavours.

At this point my mother showed up on site, and Eirik lent her a t-tunic, and Þorfinna gave her the ‘Girdle of Strength’ that she had won years ago at a Galbraith party. My mom had a good time, even belting back some Scotch with Baldric which took everyone by surprise. She’s not even sure if she’ll ever be able to come out again, but she’s already started thinking about what kind of garb she likes.

Once the fighters had all clomped out of the woods, Sir Cennedi called to all those who wished to bear witness as he took a new squire. Before a large crowd (the largest I’ve yet seen at a squiring) Cennedi spoke of Þorfinna, and how in the past year as his student he had seen her transform from someone unsure of themselves on the battlefield to a fearless warrior. He quoted from the Havamal, and then exchanged oaths with Þorfinna. She was presented with a box—painted by Cennedi—which was adorned with his badge, his knight’s badge, his grand-knight’s badge, my badge, as well as her own. The quoted verse was also painted on the box, in Norse runes. From the box I pulled out a beautiful red belt, hand crafted by Lord Berend and Lady Mahault van der Eych. The buckle and belt end were made in the Norse style, and the quote from the Havamal had been carved along the belt’s length. A silver knotwork accent adorned the belt just above the belt end. I wrapped the belt about her waist, and then Tiberius brought her a mug of ale which she downed in one gulp. After that came the hugging and the congratulations and the picture taking. As well, Þorfinna was tasked her teacher Baroness Adrielle to research the source of the poem (which she already has) as well as the buckle and belt end.

The squiring complete, the Hrogn lads and I cleaned up the fighting pavilion for court. Two days of fighting and a Kama Sutra party later there was a lot of trash to clean up. It was at this point that the skies opened, and rain, at times pounding the earth in fury fell upon us all. Everyone squeezed under the fighting pavilion to watch.

In Septentrian court Lady Raya of Petrea Thule was made the new baronial bard, and Etian was given an axe and a bear pelt and named the barony’s fighting champion. The Canton of Caer Draeth donated funds from the last Kingdom Crown to Their Majesties and to Their Excellencies.

The Canton of Ardchreag was called into court. Knowing that the barony required a new baronial pavilion, they donated $2000 towards the purchase of a new one.

Mahault announced that the Crusaders had beaten the Byzantines in the war, due mostly to points earned in non-fighting venues (such as archery). In a strange twist, due to a write-in campaign, Baron Konrad of Ramshaven received as many points as Derfel and Baldric together. In recognition of this, he was given a hand crafted box. Derfel and Baldric were both presented with treasures brought back by the Van der Eychs from their recent trip to Greece and Turkey.

Two ladies from Monadh—Florence and Magdelina—were given Bear’s Claws for the construction of tabards.

Their Excellencies then retired, to prepare themselves for entry into Their Majesties court. Kingdom court than began, and several good gentles were recognized, including:

Lord Eirik Andersen and Baroness Gaerwen of Trafford who were inducted into the Order of the Wain; Adelaide van der Eych, who received an Award of the Wolf's Cub; Lord Hamish Gunn and Lord Rhisiart ap Merududd, who received an Award of the Maiden’s Heart; Lord Thorulfr inn smithr, who received an Award of the Scarlet Banner; THL Anne Tinker who was inducted into the Order of the Crucible.

Unfortunately I watched most of court from the back of the pavilion, as the members of House Hrogn and House Galbraith had gathered to lead Corwyn and Domhnail before Their Excellencies. When they were called we marched into court, singing and carrying banners. As luck (or fate) would have it, the rain ceased long enough for them to walk from the bathrooms (where they had taken shelter after changing into their beautiful new clothes) to the pavilion. Once under its roof the rain began again, though falling lightly this time. As Corwyn and Domhnail kneeled in front of Their Majesties a rainbow broke out in the sky over the pavilion and THL Ulvar van der Nederlanden sounded the horn of Ealdormere’s scouts. Many good gentles then spoke about the virtues of this pair, including Garraed Galbraith, Olagh, and Duchess Marion FitzWilliam who spoke of the past, Sir Berus Wolfsson and Baroness Adrielle Kerrec who spoke of the present, and Lady Þorfinna gráfeldr and Lady Lassarfhina ingean Uilleag who spoke of the future. Their scroll was a wooden triptych, crafted by Lassarfhina, that stole the crowd’s breath away.

After court the fifth Annual Lord Ulrich von den See Memorial Mead Competition was held. I know there were winners in a few categories this year, but the only one I can recall is Lady Marian Golightly who again won the cordials category.

As usual I missed the mead competition as I was back in camp getting ready for the Galbraith party. The party was again going to be held on the battle field, and some of us began to lug supplies over. Coming back to camp from one such trip I was just in time to catch the tail end of Lady Dagmar halvdan being taken as a man-at-arms by THL Etain du Naval.

Corwyn had a bottle of Blackeye Mead, used as part of the Galbraith initiation ceremony, which he passed around even though no new Galbraiths were being recognized. The truly brave, foolhardy and/or stout of heart took a swig of the noxious brew.

The party began, with a bonfire, free mead and home brewed beer, lots of food, the traditional Galbraith toss and the finals of Ealdormere Idol. Before too long the rain began to thunder down, and everyone crowded under the fighting pavilion again. This was just after Thorulfr had taken his turn ‘Flinging the Fencer’—and taking the lead for longest throw—and it was remarked that Thor, god of thunder, was obviously not being impartial. Due to the constant rain the toss did not resume, and Thorulfr won the men’s category with a throw over 39 feet. Lady Mary of Caer Draeth won the women’s category, with a throw around 22 feet. Callum mhic Hector won the children’s category with a throw of over 9 feet.

The party was shorter and a little more subdued this year due to the weather. Still there were several memorable moments, including Adrielle’s turtle squirt toy that shot many of us in the face; Lady Raya of Petrea Thule being named the winner of the first Ealdormere Idol competition; and Bubba’s violation of Sarnac that left Sarnac laughing so hard he could hardly breathe.

After the party ended, Þorfinna and I hung out at the Squires’ Lounge where I let out a burn that earned me a standing ovation. We finally went to bed at a very late (or technically early) hour, just before Ymir (known as Butterfly) had his tent ‘collapse’ in retaliation for the previous night’s tent turning trick. We had just gone to bed, but heard the poles fall and the resulting fit of giggling.

Sunday was bright and hot, and Ardchreag was faced with a little problem. Twenty-four bales of hay had been brought to War for use in the battles, and due to the rain, had not been burned in the fire pit as planned. No one wanted the hay (it was garbage quality) and we couldn’t leave it on site. As such, the Ardchreag fire-corporals were formed and many of us spent a few hours burning the hay in the pit. We took turns circling the roaring fire, turning the hay with sticks so that air could reach the bottom layers of hay. It was for many a very medieval moment, like watching farmers around a charcoal fire, especially when Siegfried took a turn since he was still in garb.

Once all the hay was taken care of, I got to hand out copies of Septentrian Geographic for free. The magazine had been put together as a fundraiser for the barony, but with the donations made by Caer Draeth and Ardchreag the funds were no longer needed. So Corwyn, Domhnail, Þorfinna and I paid for the printing costs and I handed out the issues to every Septentrian I happened across until I ran out. The magazine contained articles on every canton with the barony, told in a tongue-in-cheek manner, as well as articles on aspects of Septentria life (such as special awards and the White Bear Fian). Reactions were good, and who knows, maybe a second issue will appear in the not too distant future.

Before long the site was deserted except for members of the host canton who began pulling down shade tents, cleaning up the few bits of garbage left behind, packing boxes, and other such after-event chores. Lady Oksana, Wat and Donovan went off site and soon returned with pizza, and we enjoyed a canton lunch which was only momentarily interrupted by a police cruiser that came flying down the road. Apparently armed robbers were running through the conservation area after ditching their getaway car nearby. We never say any sign of them though, and the rest of the tear-down was uneventful.

And so ended War of the Trillium, second of its line.

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-----Original Message-----
From: Ardchreag@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Ardchreag@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Todd Fischer
Sent: Wednesday, July 05, 2006 10:34 PM
To: 'Ardchreag List'
Subject: [Ardchreag] The Shed is Up

Thanks to the Ardchreag Engineering Corps, the new canton shed is up!

We’ve currently got about 85% of the canton gack in there, and once we hang some hooks we should be able to move the rest in…

In attendance tonight were: Eirik, Siegfried, Berend, Mahault, Adelaide, Marie, Snæbjörn, Donovan, Wat, Nigel, Tarian, Randy, Ethan, Þorfinna and myself…

Thanks everyone for coming out…

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-----Original Message-----
From: Ardchreag@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Ardchreag@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Tarian verch Gadarn
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 1:14 AM
To: 'Ardchreag List'
Subject: [Ardchreag] WotT goes to Uruguay

Yup, you read that right.

The people who printed our shirts gave my office 2 extras as gifts last
week while i was away. They kindly printed a ladies baby doll medium
tee as a gift for me (yes, you read that right. anyone know a 13 year
old who it will actually fit?), and a mens medium (i think they liked
the design so much, they've been printing them on other shirts for
samples in their gallery). My boss asked if he could have the men's
shirt. I said, sure, it will fit you nicely. He said he wanted to send
it to his best friend back home in Uruguay! hehehe.

The Canton of Ardchreag is about to touch on one of the four corners of
the world!!! South America, here we come!

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-----Original Message-----
From: Ardchreag@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Ardchreag@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Eirik Andersen
Sent: Thursday, July 06, 2006 9:44 PM
To: ardchreag@yahoogroups.com; Eoforwic@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [Ardchreag] A Invitaton to a Passage of Arms

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

Noble Cousins of Eoforwic,

In all love and friendship,

we invite you to a Passage of Arms,

to be held at Day in the Country,

in Greenithe this fall,

where we may meet in noble combat,

to test our skills in battle,

entertain the ladies of the gallery,

and enjoy the company of our friends.

Will you meet us this day in battle?

-Fighters of the Canton of Ard Chreag,
Known as the Company of the White Arrow

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July 17 Fight Practice Report


Colyne Stewart, Dagmar, Eirik Anderson, Thorfinna Gráfeldr, Wat of Sarum, William Donovan

Not Fighting:

Tarian, Baroness Gaerwen, Sir Siegfried

Not an extensive report today. Decent turnout despite the heat and air-quality warnings and the day marked the return of the monthly Cliffside challenge, postponed last week due to rain. After a decent round of sparring, marked by Eirik and Colyne’s work with the pole-arm, a new form to both, and the destruction of Wat’s poor shield we moved into the Cliffside challenge. The challenge was fought in a round-robin format with the top two fighters meeting in a best of three finals.

Wat and Donovan met in the finals, with Lady Thorfinna taking third place beating out her husband Colyne. In the finals Wat won the first fight, and Donovan thumped him thoroughly in the final two to emerge the victor.

1st place: Lord William Donovan
2nd place: Lord Wat of Sarum
3rd place: Thorfinna Gráfeldr

Sparring resumed after the challenge, with pole-arm bouts being the order of the day with both Colyne and Donovan picking up pole-arms to match weapons with Wat.

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July 24
Ardchreag: Wat, Colyne, Thorfinna, Eirik, Donovan, Berend, Logan, Vlad, Michael (Vlad’s son)
Eoforwic: Gaerwen, Thoruflr, Grom, Marsaili
Skeldergate: Berus, Etian, Dagmar
Bastille: Rattanicus, Argyle, Cameron

Ardchreag: Mahault, Sir Siegfried, Ken’s lady, Sir Nigel
Eoforwic: Grom’s lady (Attica sp?)
Greenhithe: Ludwig
Skeldergate: Marion

Colyne, pole arm
Berend, pole arm and single thrust
Grom, single thrust
Donovan, single thrust
Logan, sword and shield

18 fighters in armour, 2 knights out of armour running authorizations and coaching, some solid melee practice and nice singles. This was a definite high point for the Ardchreag practice. Hopefully the Toronto area fighters will be able to continue with this sort of momentum and build this into a monthly occurrence. I foresee no reason why we could not have 30 fighters out in armour, with potential for far more.

Digression: My dream is of a regular, unified Toronto practice that draws 40 unbelts and 5 members of the chivalry. Currently we have more than that in active fighters in the region, practicing at least twice a month, so this should be achievable.

Congratulations to everyone who showed up and thanks to Colyne Stewart for helping with this report.

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August 20
William Black fox Awards
“My First A-Frame,” Lady Thorfinna gra’feldr, /The Tankard/, Canton of Ard Chreag. Nominated for beast article

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Sep 11
Fighting: Count Rory Cennedi the Kid, Thorfinna, Wat, Quilliam
Not Fighting: Quilliam's mom, the most awesome mom ever.

Final outdoor fight practice of the season.  It ended up being a strictly Cennedi and dependents-only practice due to the wussiness of all other knights and their liege-men/women.

Although it did get dark very fast we didn't stop fighing and actually fought on in the dark for more than an hour - or as we put it, getting a head start on our training for the torchlit tourney season. 

Without going into too many details, Thorfina tried out the dreaded square shield and found out that it uses totally different muscles than her round shield.  She did enjoy the passive defence it gave her when dealing with a legged opponent.  Quilliam, the world's biggest boffer fighter (only one month until he can authorize for armored combat!) picked up a rattan sword to fight us, while we used his boffer sword against him, thus following the rules that state a youth under 16 cannot be hit by thugs armed with rattan.  The dude is pretty good and had fun training with Cennedi and later Thorfinna and myself.  I can't speak for the others but I had to pull out all my dirty tricks to beat this guy. 

Cennedi was his usual self, hacking, maiming, etc.  I fought pretty good, still working out some of the things that were shown me by his Grace, Paul Bellatrix.  Tough going with that though.

All in all it was a good practice.  Looking forward to our indoor practice this week at the school.


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Sep 18

Fight Practice Report
Monday September 18, 2006

Fighting: Count Rory Cennedi the Kid, THL Etiene au Naval (Hugo), THL Eirik Anderson, THL Wat of Sarum, Laird Colyne Stewart, Lady Dagmar, Quilliam

Not Fighting: Jeff (the coolest dad in the world), Lady Thorfinna Gráfeldr and the nice young lady whose name I forget but was out to check things out for the first time.

This time a special thanks goes out Jeff, Quilliam’s dad, for bringing him out to play with us and for spending a solid 15 minutes doing physiotherapy on our broken-down old Count.

It was the first indoor practice of the season and the first since Pennsic for a couple of people. With high humidity and poor air circulation it was pretty hard going on an energy front, especially for those just getting used to their armour again.

After 45 minutes of sparring we moved on to the monthly Cliffside tournament that was fought in a round-robin format, best out of three fights. The scores were as follows:

1st Count Cennedi – 6 wins, no losses
2nd Wat – 5 wins, 1 loss, 2 broken shields
3rd Ettiene/Hugo – 4 wins, 2 losses, no cup shots so all in all a winning day for him.
4th Quilliam – 3 wins, 3 losses, 1 more broken boffer sword the brute.

And I must admit that I am a little fuzzy about the rest of the scores so everyone will have to forgive me.

Afterwards at Laird Colyne’s suggestion we practiced single sword with our off-hands for 45 minutes. This was done under protest by some members of the practice, and after people saw the conan the barbarian style sparring between Cennedi and Wat (me) I think they better understood my misgivings.

After Cennedi and I had spent 10 minutes or so binding each others swords and doing extravagant ducks and spinning strikes the good Count suggested a tutorial in which he showed the entire group the principles of “sticky hands”, found in I.33 manuals, Lichtenhower ( I now mi speling suks) and Bruce Lee (!). The basic principles being that of responding to binding situations by applying a variety of principles regarding the “strong” and “weak” parts of the blade and meeting a hard press with a “soft” response, and vice versa. If you want more than that you will have to do it in person, as I am inadequate to the task of explaining it properly. The group then did drills for both single sword and two-handed weapons, with a special emphasis on pole-arm. Good learning experience.

I will keep the editorial commentary brief – ½ the people were shaking off the rust in a pretty serious way and the other half took advantage of that J

Seriously, the differences were marked in those who have been able to get to practice since war, and those who haven’t – something that should go away pretty quickly now that the regular schedule is back in effect. Overall a good practice and looking forward to more.

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Crown: Oct 28
> Count Sarnac Ba'adur fighting for Countess Joleicia of Litchfield
> Master Trumbrand the Wanderer fighting for THLady Kaylah the Cheerful
> Count Edward the Red fighting for Countess Rylyn Buchanan Mistress
> Aelfwyn of Longwood fighting for Baron James the Mercer Sir Evander
> MacLachlan fighting for Lady Melusine De La Rose Baron Phaidrig McNeil
> fighting for Mistress Etaoin O'Fearghail THLord Streonwold Wulfesbana
> Hlaford fighting for THLady Seonag nicThomias THLady Seonag nicThomias
> fighting for Streonwold Wulfesbana, Hlaford THLord Wat of Sarum
> fighting for Lady Oksana z Moravy Duke Edouard Beausoleil fighting for
> Mistress Domhnail Galbraith Lord Tarquin Bjornsson fighting for Lady
> Caitilin inghean Tomais ui Dhuibihir
> THLord Etian au Neval fighting for Lady Valfreya Greenspear
> THLord Eirik Anderson fighting for Lady Tarian verch Gadarn
> Lord Kolbjorn Skattkaupandi fighting for Lady Wencenedl of Rokesbury
> Sir Nigel Macfarlane fighting for Mistress Adrielle Kerrec
> Lord Grimmroth Skullhammer fighting for Lady Aveline Carnyn
> Lord Leod Dubh fighting for Lady Meabh Dubh
> Baron Richard Larmer fighting for Dame Sarra Graeham of Birnham
Edouard won
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November 13th
Tarian took over as Seneschal from Thorfinna
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November 20
Date: November 20 2006
Fighting: Count Cennedi, Colyne, Thorfinna, Wat
Not fighting: NOBODY
Notably absent: Quilliam, which is why he will never be good enough to beat Wat and I hope he remembers this missed practice in 7 years when we are in crown finals and I use Ninja move # 7 on him, the move he could have learned about if he had shown up to practice on Sept 20, 2006.


Great practice. With smaller numbers Cennedi suggested that we focus on doing some drills and working on techniques using the reverse hip. The ninja moves worked on were 4 in number:

1. Forehand blow transition to reverse hip off-side blow.
Note, not a combination, this is one blow which starts as a forehand regular hip and changes mid-stream to a reverse hip off-side head.

2. Offside head reverse hip to forehand regular hip.
See the above explanation. The same, only reversed.

3. Reverse hip off-side head blow when you have received a blow to either shield or sword leg

4. Reverse hip forehand blow when in-close, shield to shield with an opponent.

Of course all of these "moves" are just an extension of the same body-mechanics principle, differently and interestingly applied.

Then we fought, in bear pit environment mostly, till we were too tired. Good clean fun. One of my favourite practices recently.

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December 4
Count Sir Sarnac Kir died of a blood clot in his lung.
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December 4

Well, in my past posts talking about the 8th’s final Cliffside Challenge I said Wat was second over all with 11 points…having just added on the results of the 8th’s challenge I find that I had incorrectly added up Wat’s points…in fact, at that point he was second over all with *15* points…

So, the results from the 8th were: Quillium in first place (awarded to him by Sir Nigel who technically was first), Wat in second place and Dagmar in third place…

These points pushed Wat into first place overall, and made him the 2006 Cliffside champion and Champion of Ardchreag! Wat also attended the most Challenges out of anyone participating!

Sir Evander came in second, and Quillium surged his way to third!

Congratulations to all who took part this year, and especially to our preaux champion, THL Wat of Sarum, Champion of Ardchreag, former King’s champion, holder of the Scarlet Banner, holder of the Scola Malem’s Hammer, and member of the Order of Thorbjorn’s Hammer!

Hopefully people enjoyed this and we will do it again in 2007…

Full standings are posted below and online at: http://www.ardchreag.org/fight.htm#Cliffside%20Challenge


First Place Wins
Second Place Wins
Third Place Wins
Current Scores
Wat of Sarum
6 (6 points)
1 (4 points)
3 (9 points)
Evander MacLachlan
4 (4 points)
1 (4 points)
2 (6 points)
1 (2 points)
5 (5 point)
1 (4 points)
1 (2 points)
Nigel MacFarlane
3 (3 point)
1 (4 points)
1 (3 points)
William Donovan
2 (2 points)
1 (4 points)
1 (3 points)
Siegfried Brandbeorn
2 (2 points)
1 (4 points)
1 (2 points)
Richard Larmer
2 (2 point)
2 (4 points)
Dagmar halvdan
3 (3 point)
1 (2 points)
Rory Cennedi
1 (1 point)
1 (4 points)
Eirik Andersen
4 (4 points)
Þorfinna gráfeldr
2 (2 points)
1 (2 points)
Colyne Stewart
3 (3 points)
Etienne du Naval
1 (1 point)
1 (2 points)
Cameron MacGregor
2 (2 point)
1 (1 point)
Ed (from An Tir)
1 (1 point)
1 (1 point)
1 (1 point)
1 (1 point)
Rhisiart ap Meredudd
1 (1 point)

Eyvindr holbarki

(Eyvindr holbarki)

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